Hot IQs

An Argument Between the Brain and Feet

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Is a rock facsimile a bad thing if it's really, really well done? That's the question facing any critic of the debut album from Denver's Hot IQs. An Argument Between Brain and Feet is pure Franz Ferdinand -- "mimicry" may be the wrong word, as they'd have had little time to crib from F.F.'s debut, but still there are undeniable resemblances, from the staccato-splinter riffs to the dramatically mannered baritone vocals. That said, if it's a facsimile, it's an awfully good one, with the added bonus of witty lyrics that sometimes belly-flop into the silly (as on "Wendy"'s overtures to Ovaltine and creamy peanut butter). "I'll put fifty on the winner," the lead singer deadpans on album closer "The Mascot Is Winning," a fitting conclusion to the opening volley from this group of smart-alecks who think smirking's fine as long as you're dancing while you do it. (Hence the apt album title.) With the gusto of an improv troupe, they work in words like "verisimilitude" and "alliteration" just because they can. Literate rock this danceable is hard to find, especially among indies, and though the drumming offers no surprises, Hot IQs' style of disco-rock is every bit as fun as anything that similar but higher-profile modern rock bands were making around this time.

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