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Hot Hot Heat: Elevator (Sire/Warner Bros.)

Will Hermes, Spin, May 2005

BACK IN THE day, new wave meant different things to different people. For some it was a way to add a little bump'n'grind to punk rock, a music that seemed to consider sex, in the immortal phrase of Johnny Rotten, "two minutes and 52 seconds of squelching noise." It was also, in a time before Nirvana and Green Day, a way of making punk palatable for the mass market: less scary, more melodic, more danceable, more photogenic. The first music video ever played on MTV, the Buggies' 'Video Killed the Radio Star', was textbook new wave—camp vocals, polyester riffs, indelible tune. It was also very annoying. But never mind that.

Total word count of piece: 650


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