Hot IQs

An antic dance-rock trio triangulated somewhere between the Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, and the Arctic Monkeys, Denver's Hot IQs also claim influences ranging from Jimmy Eat World and Weezer to Jay-Z and Sam Cooke to the all but forgotten '90s indie rockers Archers of Loaf, whom Hot IQs cover on their second release. The trio formed in 2004 in Denver, when college friends Eli Mishkin (lead vocals and guitar) and Elaine Acosta (drums), who had met while working at the college radio station of the University of Colorado in Boulder, drafted bassist Bryan Feuchtinger to complete their nascent trio. Although both Mishkin and Acosta were both almost complete novices at their chosen instruments, Mishkin's exuberant stage presence and witty lyrics and Acosta's fairly stunning looks quickly made them Denver's buzz band, splashed all over the local print media. Hot IQs signed with local indie Morning After Records for their debut album, 2004's An Argument Between the Brain and Feet, and expanded their national profile as an opening act; by 2006, the trio was popular enough that the larger indie SpinArt Records signed the band and reissued the album. Due in part to time-consuming day jobs (Mishkin is a marketing consultant, Feuchtinger owns one of Denver's most popular recording studios, and Acosta is a psychiatric nurse), the follow-up EP, Dangling Modifier, wasn't released until early 2007. ~ Stewart Mason

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