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The Routine is possibly the best name ever for Hotwire's new album, because the album sounds exactly like what "the routine" has become for loud, heavy music. The Routine could be any one of a number of other albums, all falling into the Nü-Metal genre, all sounding virtually the same. Screaming vocals, with heavy power chords is increasingly becoming the safe way to get a record contract, unfortunately, everyone is trying to copy each other in a genre that hit it big after its' creative peak. In other words, Hotwire sound just like every other band that the major labels are trying to cram down the throats of the Ozzfest hoards.
The lyrics aren't necessarily anything special, but coupled with the driving guitars and smashing drum beats, they will get a most pit going. Track two, "Invisible," is a particularly hyper ditty, and I wouldn't recommend going near the pit during this track, unless you are willing to suffer the potential consequences during the chorus of the advantages of being invisible. Other tracks on The Routine showcase the band's ability to sound like every band from über-successful Lincoln Park to the dwindling fame of Korn and Limp Bizkit to the well deserved rising fame of Taproot. One track, "Say What You Want," showcases Hotwire's ability to drone on for more than six minutes. The other tracks demonstrate that the band doesn't really have much of a range outside of "rock." This could leave some listeners yearning for a little more in a band, but others might feel more comfortable with a band that doesn't really reach too far. One of this album's other weaknesses is that it is very hard to tell where one track ends and the next begins.
Hotwire might be right for those that have latched on to the Nü-Metal scene and are trying to ride it for as long as possible. In other words, if you see yourself going to Ozzfest this year, next year, and every year until Kelly has replaced her Dad as the headliner on the main stage just to keep the family name involved, then check out The Routine. For everyone else, if you're looking for something new and heavy, this isn't the album for you. There are a lot of other bands out there right now that have at least their own sound, Hotwire is so derivative that if you heard one of their tracks on the radio, you would never guess it's a new band. I'll give the band a little credit, they gave it a shot, and maybe they just are a little confused on what year it is, because if this album came out three or four years ago, it would be them you'd see on MTV today. The translation of that is this album wouldn't be bad, if the bands sound wasn't already on its way to the Rock & Roll history books.
Jason Cipriano is the Senior Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.