Lickity Split

The Telegraph Company

Everything about Hotbox promises a rough-and-tumble ride through youthful abandon. The tattooed and pierced nubile ladies gracing the cover warn you that this is going to be a slippery, sexually charged jolt of punk rock. I’ve seen a lot of discs with cool, sexploitative covers that fail to deliver the goods. If you’re not expecting to find the definitive punk disc of the decade, then Hotbox delivers the goods.

Mel Chappell has just the right blend of sass and strychnine in her voice to be seductive and scary. Mel is definitely a woman in charge. On “You Adore Me,” she contemplates scatology for the poor boy that lusts after her unconditionally. The full on rush of “Stripper’s Motto” moves as fast as a nude dancer cleaning out a sucker•s wallet. Mel is backed by a tight band who can rush from punky pop to crunchy metal riffs in the blink of an eye. The band’s choice of covers shows them to have a sense of humor. They do a pumped up rendition of Josie Cotton’s ode to lustful confusion, “Johnny Are You Queer.” Maybe the hidden bonus track is an answer. If you let the disc play out, you’ll hear Hotbox rip up Queen•s “Shear Heart Attack.”

Oh, there are more photos of the lovelies from the cover inside, but nothing beyond PG-13.

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