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Much as I want to get behind a band from my old Maryland stomping grounds (Wheaton, Rockville), I'm as bored as I am impressed by Hotspur. My feelings really don't apply -- these guys have painstakingly assembled the ingredients insuring at least a few years of teen idolatry. Among the notches in their belt: Inclusion in Taco Bell's 2009 "Feed the Beat," top rotation on MTVu (winning the freshmen vote this past October), and airplay on The Hills and MTV's Next. Oh, and there's a slew of corporate sponsors.

I'm not shocked to learn that drummer Scott Robinson, lead vox/guitarist Joe Mach, and keyboardist Dave Trichter earned individual-study Music Business degrees. To their credit, they've gone through a lot to reach their current breakout position (setting up Warped Tour stages for the privilege of hawking their CDs and Ts to fans of other bands, throwing down arena-voltage shows in near-empty and barely paying venues, and tirelessly working blogs and cyber networks).

For me, Hotspur's sound is over-produced, bombastic, and tiresome. For millions of teens and college kids, it's a supplement to their Muse/Fall Out Boy addiction. These guys aren't dumb: despite their own exhaustion with financial issues, the track "$$$" includes the lyric, "There's not enough money in the world/to make me forget you, girl."

Album title: You Should Know Better By Now (2009)
Artist: Hotspur
Label: Hotspur
Songs: (1) Hypochondria (2) Chandelier (3) Never Asked For Love (4) Too Young (5) $$$ (6) Atlantic (7) Heads/Tails (8) Gunfight (9) Sold! (10) If These Walls Could Talk (11) Alphabetic File (12) Up & Away (13) You Should Know Better By Now

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