Hot Fiction’s Apply Within sounds like it was recorded in the musty basement of a castle along the Rhine River. The album’s heavy guitar is used sparingly to create a lot of space in the music and allow for more concentration on the lyrics.
The loud, confident vocals of Simon Miller and Andy Yeoh soar above the grungy noise made by the two piece band. The vocal range on songs like “Old News” is not only impressive but offers a very different vocal styling than other songs on the record like “You’re Not Alone.” The dirty guitar distortion by Miller coats the album with almost a midevil feel while Yeoh’s percussion varies from loud thunderous drums down to simple frequent cymbal play. It is easy to reference Jimmy Page or Dan Auerbach when considering the guitar playing on the album but the surprising part of this Hot Fiction record is how much maturity the band shows by not just playing loud and fast with that sound. They let the slow blues flow and create a definite mood for the songs.
The lyrics can be simplistic and a bit hollow at times but also can be deep occasionally too. The band jams through a ballsy 40 plus minute record summoning the ghosts of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. This may not be the most original music you’ll ever hear but it is a smooth listen made by musicians who know how to write a decent song.
Key Tracks: “Body Barely Touching Mine” “Old News”