This week I got to fulfil a long-standing dream and I became the sixth member of Hot Chip. OK, so it was only for a photo call, but they did seem impressed by my ownership of one of those two-pronged cowbells and said they might let me demonstrate my percussive abilities on a future B-side that they’re recording for a Japan-only single at some unspecified time in the future. Maybe.
Anyway, it was good to get some things cleared up, namely that most of the universal truths that Alexis holds dear were gleaned from watching WWF as a child, that Owen was allowed into the band after drawing a picture of two men pissing on each other, that Felix’s involvement in Hot Chip is entirely predicated on a misunderstanding about beef, that Joe can date any techno record almost to the month depending on its drum sound, and that when Al kept having to leave the stage to vomit at their Electric Ballroom gig the other week, it was merely the result of too much alcohol the night before and we shouldn’t feel any residual sympathy. In fact, this confession prompted Alexis to admit that he too often feels queasy on stage, and that it’s probably a result of overly vigorous maraca-shaking without first going through a suitable warm-up routine.
Suffice to say that Hot Chip’s new album Made In The Dark is their finest yet: tougher than previous outings, with several tracks recorded live for the first time. It’s also confidently broad, with the band exploring the extremes of their split personality with thundering acid-disco workouts nestling next to gorgeous midnight electro-soul and moments of poignancy bookending songs that list wrestling moves.
Of course it’s not out until February, and Hot Chip are slightly frustrated that they’re forced to collude in this media circus, slowly tickling fans into a frenzy, instead of just making the album available now. On the other hand they’re not Radiohead and they need to get paid, which is why Felix sent a polite cease and desist letter to the blog who posted the entire album last week (before downloading everything else they had on there).