Monday, August 29, 2011
Album review: Burning Hotels’ Burning Hotels
Burning Hotels is a triumph for the Fort Worth quartet in many ways.
I am a total product of new wave. It is the music I cut my teeth on and weaned myself into music with beginning in 1985; I still love it to this day. Therefore, one might think I was ecstatic about the floods of '80s new wave-influenced acts who have come down the pike in recent years. Well, for the most part, I’m not. The majority of them seem to miss the boat, thinking a single plinky keyboard line sets them apart. They are very incorrect. As a matter of fact, I usually dislike '80s throwback as a whole, from music to fashion so much that I completely disregard it. Some have gotten it fairly right; Ladytron and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart come to mind. On the flip side, bands such as The Killers have done a poor job at throwing back to the '80s. I really hate that band.
Fort Worth’s Burning Hotels would fall into the former category. Not only did they get it right, but one would think they were straight out of the time period. Almost completely abandoning the post-punk flag they bore on last year’s excellent Novels and diving head first into new wave, Burning Hotels prove that they “get it” without modernizing the style at all. One can find flourishes of Ultravox, New Order, and even The Style Council present, without being copycats -- it’s very evident they are fans of the music and are influenced heavily by the early to mid-'80s, staying true to form.
Production depth coupled with a wealth of ideas and eight very strong songs sets Burning Hotels apart from their counterparts, displaying a tremendous amount of growth and musicianship just since last year. The teaser single from earlier this year, “Allison,” might have opened eyes to their new direction, but by far didn’t prepare the listener for this record. The mid-tempo breakup song only whets the appetite for the meal that is Burning Hotels, an album unashamed of its '80s lean, and begging for an entire album dance remix.
The real standout track, which is difficult to even pinpoint, comes in the form of “Days Are Gone.” Co-frontmen Matt Mooty and Chance Morgan, the constant driving forces behind Burning Hotels, play their vocal differences to near perfection, harkening Love and Rockets “Kundalini Express” for its relentless phrasing interplay.
Burning Hotels is a triumph for the Fort Worth quartet in many ways, standing up against some of the best of the genre, including the original '80s innovators.
New Wave fanatics, do yourselves a favor and pick up this record. It does not disappoint. Burning Hotels is available on iTunes beginning August 30.
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