Seattle has always been a city with a vibrant and active music scene and it appears they survived the grunge attack of the 90’s and are beginning to really deliver some great new bands not stuck in the genre. Hotels is just one of those bands with a new wave inspired sound that brings me back to the days of Ultravox, OMD, Joy Division and even Devo. One thing for certain this group has a knack for producing music that really brings back that 80’s new wave feel.
Their newest album Where Hearts Go Broke begins with the song “Hydra” an synth-pop flashback complete with an OMD inspired keyboard riff. What catches the listeners ear besides the driving drum and bass lines is the subtle guitar layered over the keys making this one of the top dance songs on the album. Next up is the dreamy “Near The Desert, Near The City” another keyboard / synth heavy tune that is subtle compared to the rest of the album not that it doesn’t fit but it is just another facet to the bands overall sound. The album then transitions into “Lelani” a dreamy dance tune that really showcases the bands dance sound with the combination of synth pop guitar, luxurious keyboard melodies, intricate bass lines, and solid drumming. “Port Of Saints” has Blake singing about a lost love over a driving beat and solid guitar riffing in the background creating an effective dance groove. Other songs of note on the album are “The Maudlin” which sets itself up as a sci fi sounding emo dance tune ala Joy Division, “Kite Flight” and “Flight Of The Navigator”.
Blake Madden (Bass, Vocals) leads the bi-coastal band and has created two versions, the core band with Kyle Frankiewich (synth), and Max Wood (drums) are based in Seattle and two additional musicians Rich Bennett (guitar) and Rich Spitzer (synths) play on the east coast. I would recommend the Seattle shows to get the real effect of the album.
8.5 / 10
Posted Nov. 18, 2004, 12:54 p.m.
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