You Missed It: The Red Hot Valentines Summer Fling (2003)


The Red Hot Valentines
Summer Fling
Polyvinyl Records

I had largely forgotten about Champaign, Illinois power-pop rockers The Red Hot Valentines, until their song “Waiting For Summer” popped up on a random Spotify playlist. The opening track from their 2003 album Summer Fling, it’s a fast, raucous, and downright infectious rocker. The rest of Summer Fling falls squarely in line with that song, a power-pop blend that reminds of the best moments from Superdrag, Fountains of Wayne, and The Cars.  Listening to it again with fresh ears, what I said back then is exactly how I feel about it now.

Here’s what I said at the time:

  • A great song captures, in three minutes or less, the essence of of youth and what it means to be young: free of responsibility for tomorrow and to have no loyalty to anything except the pleasure principal. It’s the essence of innocent love fading into the coming autumn of adulthood.
  • Red Hot Valentines will be a band best experienced on a car stereo, with the volume cranked and the windows rolled down and the sunglasses on. Certainly nothing wrong with that!
  • The Red Hot Valentines have really captured what it’s like to have fun in the sun, with no cares or worries about tomorrow. Songs about crushes, heartbreak and just having fun have never sounded so…vital.

It’s really too bad that the band called it a day just a year after Summer Fling appeared. It was a great record that showed much promise, but that’s how it is with power-pop bands–here today, gone tomorrow, leaving a beautiful record behind as an artifact of exactly what the world has lost.

Listen for yourself, and draw your own conclusions. I think you’ll enjoy the ride:

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