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Hot Hot Heat: Future Breeds (Dangerbird)

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If Hot Hot Heat were my boyfriend, we'd have broken up around 2007's Happiness Ltd. "You don't know what you want to be," I would have said, playing with Steve Bays' curls. "And I need someone with a sense of purpose and direction. You're all over the place."

Listening to Future Breeds is the equivalent of running into the ex and realizing that while you'll always remember him fondly, you made the right call when you ended things—because he's essentially the same guy he was back in 2002, when you first met. All of his experimenting with different looks and styles led him inevitably back to that same hyper man-child you once loved. But after eight years, he hasn't grown or evolved at all.

It's not that there's anything wrong with Hot Hot Heat. "Implosionatic" reminds you why you fell in love in the first place: the spastic energy, the bleak enthusiasm, the fierce renovation of '80s new wave. But "Implosionatic," despite being a fine song, doesn't compare to the newness of first love, like hearing the lurid beach-blanket nihilism of "Bandages," one of the best songs from 2002's Make Up the Breakdown. On the surface, the two songs are very much the same, except that they're ... not.

Overall, Future Breeds is something familiar that's not exciting anymore. I'm glad you're doing well, Hot Hot Heat, and you look good—healthy, even. I wish you all the best. I'm just glad I'm going home with somebody else.

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