Review: Hotels – Cinemascope III

It’s been a while since we last heard of a new album from Seattle’s Hotels which isn’t too surprising since founding member Blake Madden is now the only constant. Yet since their 2005 debut ‘Thank You For Choosing’, Hotels’ music appears to have become more and more influenced by the world of film to such an extent that this is the final part of a trio of EPs inspired by the movies.

Hotels EP Cover

‘Relentless Practitioners’ rumbles along a backdrop of Krautrock rhythms and stop-start drums, building up to a bruising and intense chorus. It is here that the familiar sound of the Hotels’ surf guitar kicks in, by which time the vocals are all but drowned under the barrage of instruments. No matter, it’s a cage-rattling good start with a retro-futurist twist. ‘The Man Who Went To Bed’ is a far more serene affair, led by a heavenly, rather wistful synth wash, not unlike The Chameleons’ ‘Silence, Sea And Sky’, whilst ‘La Maldicion Sur La Miami’ (translating to the curse of South Miami) brings back the surf guitar again, for a frenetic boat ride on the Florida surf. ‘New Beginnings In The Sun’ is the sole concession to shoegaze/dreampop and one where the songwriting rather than the soundtrack prowess is to the fore; the verses building up slowly and elegantly like an indie Bond theme before exploding into a heart-bursting chorus with gorgeous layers of effects and male/female harmonies.

‘Cinemascope III’ maintains Madden and co’s knack for creating noir-ish soundscapes with a healthy undercurrent of romance and danger. Whatever happens next, Hotels have left behind a fine legacy of film-worthy music. Thank you for choosing them.

Web Sites:
Hotels – Cinemascope III

Further Listening:
Monocle, Stereolab, The Chameleons

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