A short, sweet and sweaty show 

Who: Hot Hot Heat

What: Snow Scene Extreme Sports Series weekend

Where: The Longhorn Saloon

When: Friday, Dec. 13

Whenever a band starts to make it big, there’s always a comparison. Hot Hot Heat, the stylish, energetic new wave rockers take their cues from the British ’80s and New York ’70s so naturally they’ve been thrown into the same basket with the Clash, the Cure, the Hives, the Vines, the Specials and other single syllable selections. Many bands irk at recognizable analogies but not these guys.

"It’s better than being associated with something worse," said drummer Paul Hawley. "We don’t feel a direct kinship with any of those bands but I can see that we have the same vibe going on, I guess."

One listen to the Victoria-based quartet’s first full-length album, Make Up The Breakdown , and it’s pretty clear Hot Hot Heat are in a league of their own. The songs are a short, sweet and sweaty introduction that shows while they might be influenced by those aforementioned artists, and lead singer-keyboardist Steve Bay’s voice sometimes could pass as Robert Smith’s, their signature is still unique. Breakdown runs for less than 30 minutes, perhaps just to tease listeners into wanting more. But Hawley said it’s more a case of boredom.

"I think we just have really short attention spans. A lot of artists can be really self-indulgent and not really know it. We end it when we know we should."

Hawley and Bays met guitarist Dante DeCaro, and bassist Dustin Hawthorne as teenagers on the punk scene. In 1999, as dedicated music lovers do, they decided to start a band together, but they wanted to dance too.

"We wanted music to be fun, a bit of a party so we altered our look and sound to incorporate that element," said Hawley. "For so long people would go to shows just to watch a band. We didn’t think that was very interactive so we encouraged audience participation as much as possible. We want the crowd to have fun."

And that they do. Check out their moves and make up some of your own at their Longhorn set tonight. Tickets are $11.50 with $1 going to the Province Empty Stocking Fund. Call 604-938-2769 for details or be at the Longhorn by 9 p.m.

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