There’s something campy and demented about William Steffey’s Hot Rod Stigmata that reminds me of the Butthole Surfers if they could stand still for enough to produce pretty, pop melodies.
In many ways, the tune is a balancing act, or, depending on how you choose to see it, an episode in musical schizophrenia. While the tone of the guitar that makes up the intro of the tune hints at what’s around the corner, the melodies found the verse dance elegantly and sound like someone trying too hard to be polite. It’s on the chorus that the truth comes out with the Hot Rod Stigmata catchphrase being uttered as if sampled from a psychobilly record.
There are a lot of ideas that William Steffey is trying to get out on this record, and he knows how to utilize precious sonic real estate. By the time the journey ends, you will have been treated to jazz, punk, pop. It’s car music for strange, eclectic tastes.