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Album Review

Squirrel Nut Zippers' second album, Hot, was one of the most surprising success stories of 1997. Like the group's debut, The Inevitable, Hot is comprised entirely of good-natured, if slightly tongue-in-cheek, postmodern big-band music. The band has nailed the sound of jump blues and swinging jazz, and if the Zippers don't have the chops of real big bands, they do have enthusiasm and a sense of humor. Of course, for purists of the genre, that collegiate sense of humor might make Hot a little unbearable, especially those instances when Katharine Whalen sounds uncannily like Billie Holiday, only without the substance. For those willing to overlook such things, they'll find Hot to be a good time, filled with songs nearly as infectious as the group's breakthrough hit, "Hell."

Customer Reviews

Genious Loves Company

Very few albums get such undying affection from me. Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, etc. This album is worthy of my devotion.

Hot Fun!

I lost my CD (borrowed and not returned) a couple of years ago and have mourned the loss of songs like Blue Angel and Hell. SNZ are a pleasant break from angst ridden teenagers and overstyled American Idol clones.

Different, but good.

I am usually one who listens to Punk rock and Ska punk music... but I always had a thing for classic jazz. When I heard this cd I was instantly obssesed with it. Great Album and will open your eyes (or your ears rather) to big band music.

Biography

Formed: 1993

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The commercialization of alternative music in the '90s resulted in many strange one-hit wonders, but few were quite as unpredictable as Squirrel Nut Zippers. During a time when hipsters were obsessed with swing music in its relation to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin's Rat Pack, the Zippers were fascinated with big-band swing and Harlem, creating a tongue-in-cheek salute to '20s and '30s jazz. For younger listeners familiar with the style but not the content of classic hot jazz, the band was good fun,...
Full Bio

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