Review of Hotline TNT’s new album

Tom Antrim, Staff Writer

Tom Antrim / Advance-Titan
Hotline TNT in Milwaukee, WI at Sky High Skateboard Shop performing a few tracks from the new full length album called “Nineteen in Love.”

New York City rock band Hotline TNT released its first full-length album, “Nineteen In Love,” last Friday.

Hotline TNT is the moniker for Will Anderson, the creative mind behind the band. He recruits friends to accompany him on tours.

I had the pleasure of seeing Hotline TNT play on Sept. 14 at Sky High Skate Shop in Bayview. They played a few tracks from the new album at the show.

“Had 2 Try” is the first song on the album. The track begins with dissonant guitar playing that unfolds into a fuzzy and sludgy atmosphere.

The vocals enter a few seconds after the one-minute mark. The mellow singing accompanies the heavy guitars seamlessly.

The second song, “Stampede,” is another highlight from the album since it is one of the most passionate tracks. During the course of this song, Anderson is confessing his gratitude for his relationship and the lessons he learned along the way.

While this song is more emotional, it possesses the same heaviness that is present on the previous track. The lead synth notes in the song are a key component to this track. Most of Hotline TNT’s catalog has been straightforward guitar music.

This song incorporates new textures that were not present on previous releases. Hotline TNT uses the synth line in this song to create an eerie atmosphere, comparable to an otherworldly experience.

“Nineteen In Love” is a straightforward title for this record and it’s a nostalgic reminder of a relationship Anderson had years ago.

“Slider” presents faster guitars with a continuous laid back vibe. However, the chorus erupts with an expressive vocal melody and chord progression.

When reading the lyrics to this song, it seems that Anderson is trying to let go of a previous relationship in order to move past it. The first lines of the song are, “Don’t think you’re ever sorry, but I’ll let it go.”

“Floor Tom” is another one of my favorite songs on this album. The opening guitar parts almost sound like something you might find on a Duster record.

However, this doesn’t last for long. The muddy and overdriven guitars enter shortly after the introduction with traditional soundscapes associated with the band.

The ending of “Floor Tom” is the best part of the song. The guitar melody is a perfect contrast to the thundering guitar chords played throughout the song.

I can’t help but realize the focus on melody, compared to previous efforts by the band. Anderson has always crafted soaring vocal melodies on Hotline TNT releases, but “Nineteen In Love” takes this to a new level.

“Nightlighter” has a similar vibe as “Had 2 Try,” as the song unfolds with distorted guitars that you’d likely find on a Hum record.

This album has a perfect contrast of heaviness and vulnerability. Some tracks are on the aggressive side of things, while others are direct pop songs.

“Nightlighter”, “Had 2 Try” and “Floor Tom” are the heavy-sounding outliers. The rest of the record is a straightforward pop effort from Hotline TNT.

The less intense songs still consist of thick guitars, but they are just more emotive. It’s clear that Hotline TNT wanted to experiment more on this record and create new atmospheres. Especially with the song “4-H T.”

This is — by far — one of the best records of this year. “Nineteen In Love” possesses traditional Hotline TNT flavor, while incorporating some refreshing musical ideas.

Hotline TNT will be touring with Snail Mail and Spencer this. winter. Catch them at Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee on December 7, or at Majestic Theatre in Madison on December 8.