Saturday, March 26, 2016

Album Review: Hot Breakfast, "The Big Reveal"

By Holly Quinn

If there was ever an album that encapsulates the X Generation in the 21st Century, Hot Breakfast’s “The Big Reveal” is it. It’s not about how we were in the ‘80s and ‘90s (OK, it is a little bit), but how we are somehow grown up, being responsible at parties (Someone’s Got to Drive Larry Home) and listening to the same five records even though there’s a nearly endless supply of new music out there waiting to be downloaded (Too Many Choices). By the end, Matt Casarino (guitar and backing vocals) and Jill Knapp (lead vocals and percussion) have thrown up their hands and give in to the inevitable with Kids Today [Am I Right?], a tongue-in-cheek(ish) lament about those damn, maybe doomed, Millennials. And it’s not just squarely GenX, it’s squarely Delaware GenX, featuring Delaware punk rock legends Jake and The Stiffs on New York Drama, a high-energy rock track that hits right in the middle of the album, just when the extra adrenaline is called for. (This is a real album meant to be listened to in order like music was intended to be listened to -- forget the Spotify shuffle.) As is their style, there is plenty of humor (and, even in songs like Kids Today and Nobody Matters but You, it doesn't come off as mean-spirited), but there is also a lot of sincerity, coming through most notably on the tracks Going Your Way and the particularly moving love song Ten More Years. Stylistically, Hot Breakfast’s signature sound is “acoustic dork rock,” like a cross between ‘80s pop and ‘90s nerd alt-rock, with Knapp’s voice ranging from quirky and sarcastic to lilting and beautiful, yet it is a completely cohesive record. All in all, it’s an album that isn’t trying to impress the kids (something that feels rare for a rock album, even strange). They know their demo, and they speak to them, relatably and in no uncertain terms.


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