Screenshot of What’s a Boy to Do? by Red Hot Riot video

All musicians strive to find their musical identity in much the same way writers long to discover their own voice on the page. Hovering the cursor over the playback button and pressing play it is patently obvious What’s a boy to do? is the latest single by Red Hot Riot. One former journalist insisted ELO’s specific sound was identifiable from the opening bars and even went as far as stating: even the new records sounded knowingly familiar. Likewise, Red Hot Riot have arrived…

The opening chord structure and the slight reverb of the sound are as instantly recognizable as a favourite perfume. The rolling rhythm is as memorable as an extended stay in a balmy sun-drenched beer garden. All complemented with a vocal delivery as English as being given an unrequested cup of tea or a conversation about the weather with a complete stranger.

The Riot are no strangers to including an anecdotal narrative in their songs. The back story to this song is the mind-boggling lack of communication between a boy and girl that makes no sense, when earlier calls are not answered, for a text message to be received at two in the morning… “just checking in!” I guess we have all – if memory serves – been there?

For a band so serious about their music they are certainly enjoying some innocent fun in the process. The accompanying video is a DIY collage of visual jokes, puns and child-like mosaics and captures a little of what the band are all about: the music. As the band do not appear in their own video. RHR’s recorded inherent sense of fun joins a canon of bands that viewed the video as a chance to have a laugh; Madness, Oasis, Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet all embraced the video – with contrasting budgets of course. Perhaps the Riot can only dream of a shoe-string budget but they sure have ideas, commitment and yes, talent in excess…

With such an abundance of qualities to champion it is difficult not to gush about Red Hot Riot but I refuse to apologise; after all, if Matt Hancock does not feel the need to apologise why should I? What’s a grumpy old man to do? Personally, I am willing to shout about this band until I lose my voice. Out now: What’s a Boy to Do? Taken from the forthcoming debut album released on 26th of Feb – Forget Me Not – by the Forest of Dean rockabilly trio RED HOT RIOT!  

By: The Swilgate Scuttler

Pre-Order the CD of the debut album by Red Hot Riot, entitled Forget Me Not  – Released 26th February 2021

Find out more about Red Hot Riot

Share this page to support SLAP Mag: