By naming themselves Hot IQs, singer/ guitarist Eli Mishkin, bassist/vocalist Bryan Feuchtinger and drummer Elaine Acosta invite analyses of looks and brainpower in addition to music. And if Modifier doesn't present an argument in favor of their attractiveness (no photos are included), it certainly confirms their smarts.
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The EP, whose release will be celebrated during a November 17 hi-dive show co-starring Everything Absent or Distorted and Lion Sized, is no epic, clocking in at less than fifteen minutes. Yet the five tunes here are fully stocked with cleverness. "Duck & Cover" moves from slamming riffiness to tuneful jangling and back again, "Retromuff" pivots on the funny/true line "It's not as dumb the second time around," and the Archers of Loaf cover "Web in Front" exemplifies the players' good taste.
Matters of originality remain, as these guys still sound too much like other danceable modern rockers for their own good. Addressing that issue will further raise the IQs.