Despite their questionable name, The Hottness are not the goofy emo boy band one would expect. Rather these North Carolinians play a heavily-grounded amalgamation of metalcore, southern metal and melodic punk rock that isn't lost on their fellow label mates Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster and Every Time I Die.
Still, while comparable to some of the Ferret Music roster, there are also some rigid traits The Hottness possess to set them apart. First off, their integration of southern metal riffing is often less frenetic and nostalgic than that of the above-mentioned outfits. Furthermore, The Hottness have a much deeper fascination with melodic vocals which distances them from being soundalikes - though their continual good cop/bad cop dynamic can be a little grating at times.
Packed with crunchy driving guitars, a weighty rhythm section and a role reversal of the kind of detached vocal harmonies Atreyu revel in, there's a lot on "Stay Classy" that stands out. While that's not saying the band are essentially unique in their field, they definitely do take some strides to incorporate bits and pieces of others in a way that the numerous others haven't. Even so, the group may come off with some unexpected class on this effort, but it only goes so far to counter their less-than-distinctive personality.
(3 / 5)