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If I Knew Now What I Knew Then

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Album Review

Starting of with the classic "Weak Warm," Hot Rod Circuit kicks off their 1999 Triple Crown release If I Knew Now What I Knew Then in unclaimed rock territory: a little more punk than Weezer and a little more garage pop than Built to Spill. Lofty comparisons both, but Hot Rod Circuit deserves to be considered alongside only the best of '90s rockers. After a slight two-song lull, the heartsick "Remover" confirms that this pseudo-debut from relocated Alabama natives Andy Jackson (guitars/vocals), Casey Prestwood (guitars), Jay Russel (bass), and drummer Wes Cross is of rare significance. Combining reckless guitars and oblique but emotive vocals into a giant primitive racket, Hot Rod Circuit's initial offering is nearly unmatched in its time with the possible exception of touring mates At the Drive-In's Relationship of Command. More than second-wave emocore, If I Knew Now What I Knew Then is one of just a handful of late-'90s discs that even aspired to breathe life into guitar rock.

Customer Reviews

second best HRC album.

and each one is different. i've seen them live on each tour, in everything from small 20-30 person shows to huge shows at the 9:30 club in DC and several festivals. every time they play their hearts out. Casey Prestwood is fun to watch onstage. no telling what he'll do next. this album was very good and has some of my favorite songs on it, like Irish Car Bomb and Weak Warm. however, you can tell it was a first full length mostly because of production quality and styling. listen to this and listen to The Pharmascist and you'll hear the difference. This is a great album to start with, but if you like to rock out a little more, then go for If It's Cool With You, It's Cool With Me.


Formed: 1997 in Auburn, AL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Originally from Auburn, AL, Hot Rod Circuit comprised Andy Jackson (vocal, rhythm guitar), Casey Prestwood (lead guitar, vocals), Jay Russel (bass, vocals), and Wes Cross (drums), and could be compared to other post-grunge emo rock bands such as Jawbox and the Get Up Kids. In their earlier days, Hot Rod Circuit was known as Antidote, under which name they released the album Mr. Glenbowski. The album earned the group a 1998 Best Unsigned Band Award from Musician magazine. Shortly after the award,...
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