UK outfit Beat Hotel is not a proposition which invites regular reservations into its indie rock exploits but when they do the creative service and fun has proven an on-going pleasure. Their occasional coming together has now brought us a self-titled EP and a collection of songs which had us increasingly and firmly hooked.
Formed around 1988 by bassist/vocalist Arash Torabi (The June Brides, The Distractions, The Granite Shore) and vocalist/guitarist/producer Paul Pascoe (Mudlow, Palm Springs, Perfect English Weather) after the pair met at a gig by The Jasmine Minks, it was not until 2013 that the outfit released any records. It was the double A-side 7″ Best of Our Years / The Fire featuring Jasmine Minks frontman Jim Shepherd which made that first impact. Since then the band has seen its line-up completed by drummer Dave Morgan (The Loft, The Weather Prophets) and guitarist/vocalist Stephen Brett (Mojo Fins).
Their new EP also sees the strings and keys enterprise of Frank Sweeney (The June Brides, Magic City Trio) guesting, and is a release said to be inspired by the body of sound released by Creation Records over time, a flavouring easy to sense within songs which still share their own individual character and temptation. They are tracks which explore “love and near-death and confronting the very worst aspects of ourselves, facing down those inner demons, the fears that haunt us and our deepest, darkest secrets,” and just as potently are six encounters which incited eager pleasure.
The EP opens up with Feel It and immediately its organic catchiness descends as guitars and rhythms erupt. Its stroll is bound in infection, the fuzziness of guitars a great union with the cleaner cut melody of the vocals as a rich wiry hook lays a magnetic thread throughout the song. Darker shadows and drama only add to its richness and temptation of its nineties toned saunter
It is a great start more than matched by recent single Bury It Deep. From its thickly alluring start, the track swings with enticement and melodic coaxing, a Lloyd Cole and the Commotions tinted breath wrapping its natural infectiousness and melodic prowess. A psych rock wine adds to the intoxication of the EP’s best moment, Pascoe and Brett weaving a compelling tapestry of tempting with their guitars across just as enticing rhythms.
Featuring James Thomas on drums, Low Slung Loser follows springing a more feral rock aptitude upon quickly embracing ears. Indie and blues tinted psych rock also collude in its prowling enticement, a whiff of Primal Scream meets The Jesus and Mary Chain adding to its fascination before the band provide a great cover of The Wishing Stones song Beat Girl. Though it maybe pales against the band’s own songs, the song beguiled with its melodic hug from a subdued but catchy gait as strings like keys effortlessly seduce.
Daddy, I Drown is next up, its initial almost Cure like invitation enough to entangle ears and attention before increasing its creative hook and melodic radiance with each enterprising minute. Another major moment within the release, vocals as heavily persuasive as the craft of each member, the track lingered well after is departure though final song Heat Light Fire proved a strong distraction for its three and a half minutes plus.
The closer eases as it slowly unwinds its invitation, guitars and keys a mesmeric blossoming which brings a darker intensity and drama with its rise. Bordering on the tempestuous without ever erupting in real turbulence, the song is a striking and gripping end to an EP just as potent in grabbing attention.
We may not have Beat Hotel around that often to book time with but when they are this release is prime example as to why so many book an extensive stay in their company.
The Beat Hotel is out now on 12″ vinyl and digitally via Occultation Recordings; available @ https://beathotel2.bandcamp.com/album/beat-hotel
Pete RingMaster 16/02/2020
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