HotWax – ‘A Thousand Times’ EP review: a band primed to thrill the world

The buzzy Hastings trio serve up a roaring set of hugely promising takes on love, infatuation and the trials of teen life

There are few things more exciting in music than the sound of a teenage band who are destined for big things. Over the last few years HotWax, a trio of 18-year-old school friends from Hastings, have been steadily honing their craft and building a following through a handful of singles and increasingly buzzy gigs. ‘A Thousand Times’, their debut EP, now presents a band who are ready to thrill the world.

They largely achieve this by delivering roaring, distorted grunge songs about love, infatuation and the trials of teen life. EP opener ‘Treasure’ rushes from the verses’ jittery bassline and zips of melodic guitar to a wall of thundering noise in the chorus, as guitarist and singer Tallulah Sim-Savage bellows: “Pain is past pleasure, and time will heal treasure.” Each HotWax member gets their moment to drive the song forward: bassist Lola Sam leads the verses with her wiry lines and drummer Alfie Sayers takes charge as they exit its first chorus.

HotWax show their age on ‘Mother’, an anthemic juggernaut that grows from brittle, dirty bass to fully fleshed-out fuzz. “Oh, you’re so mean, I’m telling your mother,” Sim-Savage sneers deadpan, like a grungier Justine Frischmann. It’s a delightfully youthful moment, and the kind of thing that only a band at HotWax’s current phase of life could get away with writing.

If that song’s aggression is directed towards another, then the trio turn that feeling inwards on ‘Rip It Out’ . “I wanna rip it out my arm, then I’ll rip it out my chest / Then I’ll rip it out my head ‘cause we were the best,” HotWax’s singer promises first in a hush, then in a throaty wail; the quiet-loud dynamic in her voice matching that of her band’s instruments.


HotWax’s calling card so far might be blazing grunge, but they do offer up some softer moments on this five-track record. ‘All I Want’ still centres around Wall Of Sound layers of riffs and beats, but is punctuated by chiming guitars and lush vocal harmonies. The Wolf Alice-indebted ‘A Thousand Times’, meanwhile, alternates between sludgy and stripped-back as Sim-Savage declares wide-eyed: “It’s you, it’s you a thousand times.”

The fledgling trio might be one of the most exhilarating new bands around right now, but they’re still rough around the edges. Their lyrics can be basic, often sticking loyally to an AABB rhyme scheme rather than branching out into anything more advanced. But, given the appropriate time to gain more experience and mature as songwriters, HotWax are showing all the signs that they could be mind-blowers going forward.


HotWax A Thousand Times EP

  • Release date: May 19
  • Record label: Marathon Artists

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