The epic, soaring sonics on Happiness Ltd., Hot Hot Heat's latest effort, owe a debt to some tricked-out production that results in a number of satisfying swells. The strongest candidates for airplay are front-loaded for instant gratification, while the rest of the album needs time to ferment. Comparisons to the Cure notwithstanding, Steve Bays's gangly, nervous voice on "5 Times Out of a Hundred" has more to do with the Libertines than with Robert Smith, and the pleading first single "Let Me In" rips a page out of the Verve's songbook with its full orchestra and chiming keyboards. With inventive lyric-building and instrumentation displayed like baubles, Hot Hot Heat deliver a plump sound that could fill an arena—and might well burst out of the Mainroom. 18+.
Wed., Oct. 3, 8 p.m., 2007