The Hot Flashez are not what you’d expect from a band full of brass, but they’ll be sure to rock-and-roll you. Guaranteed to serve up an ear-pleasing platter of punk-alternative-garage rock with a large side of trombone and sax, the Flint-based band, scheduled to hit up local spots this March, are just as much of a mouthful onstage as they are in description. And, don’t worry, that’s a good thing.
The Hot Flashez, with their in-your-face yet lyrically insightful music, put on a high-energy show sure to please the masses.
“It’s a fast-paced sound that gets everyone’s attention,” band member Cody Zembo said.
[band] The band, consisting of John Duffy on lead vocals and guitar, Aaron Saul on bass and back-up vocals, Brent Corbin on drums, Nick Jannokos on trombone and Zembo on saxophone, is described by Zembo as “Rocket from the Crypt-esque alternative rock with horns; garagey, punk rock without the pop sensibilities; the swagger of the Deadly Snakes and the writing complexities of San Francisco alt-rock horn outfit Buela.”
That’s quite a mix, and another mouthful.
After forming in December 2000, the Hot Flashez toyed with many sounds before evolving into the band they are today. “[The band] has done a complete turnaround,” Zembo said. “We started out as a ska band with funny lyrics and a joking mentality, and have now evolved into this rock ‘n’ roll band with meaningful lyrics that you can take seriously.”
They’ve strayed from local venues to showcase their talent across the country, playing alongside plenty of prominent acts and even landing a stint on the Detroit leg of the Vans Warped Tour in summer 2003.
Just as impressive, the Hot Flashez have already released two EPs and three full-length albums in the past four years since the band’s formation. The number of albums is a testament to their ever-changing style, which the band recognizes as a necessary element of their success.
“Tastes change and so does our sound,” Zembo said. “But we’re all pretty happy with the stuff we’re writing now.”
[cover] Their most recent release, a six-track EP on indie label Duffmeister Records entitled Resort to Plan B, is the antecedent for another album currently in the works. Surprisingly, the mix of horns and strings on this EP weave pleasantly throughout the songs without overpowering one another, and leave just enough air clear for frontman Duffy’s voice to belt out some powerful tunes. The occasional screaming harmonies are pulled off well, erasing any doubt about their genre-crossing sound.
Another convincing credential is that all the songs on their most recent album were recorded and mixed by founding member of the Suicide Machines, Royce Nunley.
In addition to releasing Resort to Plan B last March, the Hot Flashez have picked up some well-deserved street cred, getting positive press in and outside the Lansing area for their intellectual, horn-blowing, punk-channeling, alternative-rock style.
Look out for the Hot Flashez around town this month. They will be playing at the Temple Club’s Red Light Indie Rock Show on St. Patrick’s Day, and once again at this year’s UAB Battle of the Bands on March 18. Their next show will be held at the Flint Local 432 along with the Pulse, Mustard Plug and Downtown Brown at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25.
For more information on where to get your socks rocked off by the Hot Flashez, or to purchase merchandise and more, visit the band’s website at http://www.thehotflashez.com.

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