Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fort Worth's The Burning Hotels debut LP!

NOVELS (Miss Press)

There can never be enough catchy pop-punk songs about relationships sung by
guys in tight pants. Or so goes the assumption made by Fort Worth's The
Burning Hotels on their debut full-length, Novels.


Turns out the band might be right, too, even if the songs on this release
sound similar to the band's predecessors, chiefly The Strokes and Franz
Ferdinand, and, locally, Black Tie Dynasty. There are some minor
differences, of course: The Burning Hotels appear the first to coin the
phrase "sex punk" when describing their own music, and, actually, that term
fits quite nicely. If nothing else, it sure is an onslaught; Marley
Whistler's thumping bass lines couple with Wyatt Adams' furiously rhythmic
drumming to round out quite an attack on the senses.

But at its core, the sound is quite simple: '80s new wave meets today's
catchy indie-pop rock. And though The Burning Hotels don't stray too far
from the pop-song formula, there's not much need to when you're this good at
it. The good, no doubt, comes in the form of Novels' hook-driven harmonies
from vocalists/guitarists Chance Morgan and Matt Mooty, who formed the band
while in their teens.

Unfortunately, the band's rather strict formula leads to some repetition.
And while that translates just fine at a live show, it can be a bit
frustrating when listening to the album.

Still, as singles go, Novels boasts its share: "Austin's Birthday" and "Boy
or Girl" are the obvious treats thanks to their earworm appeal, but the
whirling "Time" might be the most sonically interesting track out of all of

In the end, it's all about a simple enjoyment here: Only one of Novels'
songs checks in at over four minutes long, so just try not to think too hard
about them.

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