Hot Shit

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While their fourth album The Sword of God chafed at religious mainstream, Quasi is once again unapologetic for their own social criticisms with another set of indie rock fun. Hot Shit, the band's second for Touch and Go and fifth overall, is Quasi's soap box for ridiculing post-September 11 actions, mostly by those non-liberal leaders of the U.S. of A. Janet Weiss and Sam Coomes aren't outright harsh or rude; they're funny in that cunning sort of way. This time, the 11-song set is much more organized; the lush cinematic feel found on the last effort is replaced with a sparsely foliated atmosphere, and that's what makes Hot Shit's theme so important. Quasi makes an impression without being high-handed. Shared vocal duties from Coomes and Weiss is their finest glazed pop effort yet, their closest to sounding like the Flaming Lips at times ,and the album's slick title track and the piano-driven honky-tonk ballad "Seven Years Gone" find Quasi's pop/rock work-in-progress enjoyably funkadelic. Surf-rock energy of "Good Time Rock N Roll" is a reminder of why they do the thing they do -- Quasi aren't spokesmen, they just want to make music that's artistically modern and intellectually amusing. Hot Shit works in this mold and it works well. Hints of string arrangements loom in and around the album's rowdy rock sound. Once the quirky avant-garde/indie rock jaunt "White Devil's Dream" arrives, it's pretty obvious that Quasi doesn't particularly care for conservative ideals. Coomes pretty much gives America's right-wing rulers (John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell) the finger and calls Tony Blair a sellout in the process. Quasi's crass sense of humor is in full force, but throughout their witty criticisms Quasi are imaginative songwriters and conscious of their curiously cool indie rock style. Hot Shit does it again and does it better!

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