US - Washington - Full Moon 177 - 02/18/11
On The Casino Floor
Hidden Shoal Recordings
Two years after their well deserved critically acclaimed sophomore album
Where Hearts Go Broke the Seattle-based
sci-fi pop band Hotels releases their third album; On The Casino
Floor. A seven track concept album that moves their cinematic sound
close to fulfillment.
On The Casino Floor tells the story of a secret agent, his former
mentor gone bad, and a devious prince's plan to destroy the universe's only
space casino complex. Not surprisingly this gives a soundscape made out of
spaghetti western images, and romantic Bond-like moves, added just a dash of
Star Trek. A most charming combination.
The opener, "From the West", is a lovely gothic-surf-tune, that bows
pleasantly to Morricone, yet keeping its own distinct synth theme, that
briefly returns in the short, instrumental fifth track, "Smith
Lands On The Casino Planet". The second song, "Lonely Island", provides a
fuzzy melancholic feel, where Blake Maddens' baritone lingers just on the
edge of ethereal goosebumps. Then there is the seven minutes majestic,
delightful and dreamy title track, that tingles into the distressed, yet
playful dark-lounge rock single, "The Bat Watsubi". "Trouble At The
Consulate" turns even darker, with its somewhat agitating cold
disco-out-of-space-beat. Before it all adds up in the closure, "Sleep In
Fame", a shoegazed star-pop dream-piece of a song.
In short, Hotels have with On The Casino Floor delivered an almost
epic musical storyline for a space movie that were never made. But, I sure
would have been first in line to see it, just based on
the magnificent soundtrack.
Copyright © 2011 Aslaug O Klausen