So it’s official. The ‘80s are back. Okay, that’s an understatement because the ‘80s have been back for the past three years now. And thanks to the Sahara Hotnights, the best part about this era’s music is being electrified all over again through their latest release, Kiss and Tell. The Hotnights took a plunge, head first into classics by The Cars, The Pretenders, Television, and even the Ramones, and haven’t let go. Guitarist Jennie Asplund says that Kiss and Tell is much different from Jennie Bomb, because, well, “it just is.” Asplund explains that while no writing actually goes on during tour and on the road, their sound is definitely affected by what everyone is listening to. At any moment, the girls are each probably listening to something different, but when it’s time to record, it all just to come together.
How this all came together on Kiss & Tell is simply unbelievable. This album sparks white hot with killer hooks and blasting drum beats that work all over each track. On “The Difference Between Love and Hell,” vocalist Maria Andersson has finally broken out, her voice shining and writhing at the same time. While her English has improved 100%, the true beauty lies in her awareness of her own sound. Her vocals are clear and sweet, sneering and shy, feeling herself through each track with a new kind of sincerity that was lacking on previous efforts.
While still relentlessly compared to The Donnas and The Runaways and lumped together with other Swedish acts like The Sounds and The Hives, the Sahara Hotnights have finally broken their own ground. This album isn’t one where there are there are just a few good tracks; it is an LP full of distinct melodies and catchy bass lines wrapped around synthesized, magnetic sounds. Asplund says some of the band’s personal favorites include “Stay/Stay Away,” a beautiful less-than-three-minute-epic, and “Walk on the Wire,” a track that uses some wonderful backing vocals by the rest of the band for the first time.
Look out for the first single off of Kiss and Tell, a wonderful dance floor bang-up called “Hot Night Crash.” The Sahara Hotnights will also be on tour all summer long, passing through Denver with the Hives on July 28th at the Ogden Theater. Kiss and Tell will be available on July 27th from RCA Records.