Hotline TNT: Cartwheel [Album Review]

Hotline TNT
Third Man Records [2023]

Brooklyn-based Hotline TNT’s latest album, Cartwheel, unfolds as a captivating exploration of life’s complexities, love, and the ongoing journey of self-discovery. Will Anderson, the creative force behind the band, infuses the album with a blended indie rock and shoegaze sensibility that is raw and unfiltered.

Cartwheel signifies a significant evolution within the shoegaze genre, departing from the traditional emphasis on dreamlike escapism. Instead, the album embraces the gritty realities of everyday existence, reflecting Anderson’s willingness to confront life on life’s terms. The tracks resonate with a sense of authenticity as Anderson’s vocals rise above the layers of distortion and noise, creating a distinct and relatable sonic signature. On tracks like “Son In Law” and “Out Of Town” there are not just walls of sound but mountains that contain power pop choruses deep under the surface. This formula is what makes the record so catchy and will keep you coming back for repeated listens.

Hotline TNT have created a record that contains12 deliberate and purposeful songs. Many tracks clock in around the two-minute mark, emphasizing a concise but impactful approach. Songs like “I’d Thought You Change” has the best of Bob Mould’s sound with its Hüsker Dü meets Sugar structure while Hotline TNT consistently pulls a Cloud Nothings like balance of indie ideas meeting 90’s alt rock grandeur. Cartwheel reflects not only a musical triumph for Hotline TNT but it is also a testament to the band’s growth and Anderson’s ability to navigate the complexities of life through his rich sonic tapestry.

“I’d Thought You Change” / “Protocol” / “Son In Law”

My Bloody Valentine / Bob Mould / Cloud Nothings

Official Website | Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp | Third Man Records

Thomas Wilde

Leave a Comment