Hot Mama - 'Downloader'

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Hot Mama - 'Downloader'

Debut album from German quartet Hot Mama.

'Downloader' is the debut album from German quartet Hot Mama. Hailing from Freiberg in the eastern part of the country and with roots in Russia, they serve up a hard rocking alternative, almost Grunge-like sound fronted by female vocalist Sonya Gorelova.

Whilst there is plenty of promise in this release, in all honesty it is difficult to imagine where the bands market would really be. Built around Sonya's vocals as the obvious focal point of the band, her voice is strong but not particularly distinctive. Although all credit to the band for writing and singing in English, Sonya's German accent, though not overbearing, does her overall tone no favours. With plenty of other female rock vocalists around, she still has a way to develop to get close to a Paramore or Evanesence level.

Bass and drums provide a solid base to build on and, although the actual guitar work of Stanislav Dedov is of a high standard, the sound is pretty one dimensional throughout. You could argue it defines Hot Mamas style but a bit of variation wouldn't go amiss: something that could probably be fixed quite easily with a stronger production as well as fixing one of the worst snare drum sounds I've heard in quite a while.

Nevertheless, there is certainly some quality in here. 'Higher' is a bouncy rocker with a catchy and memorable chorus, 'Waiting For The Beast' has a strong, pounding rhythm giving Sonya the chance to show she can hit the high notes, raising the level with a couple of screams that at least show off a bit of passion in her voice.

Overall, this is an interesting and promising start, definitely not just one to dismiss too readily. However, if Hot Mama are going to stand out from the crowd they will need to show a bit more quality than this reveals, including better production values and a greater variation in tone. A few more melodies and harmonies and some underlying keyboards could perhaps also greatly enrich what's on offer here.

Ian Parry

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