Thursday, March 24, 2011

Post-punk nugget "Austin's Birthday"

The Burning Hotels: Novels

(Miss Press)

By Doug Simpson

There must be something about bands with fire-related names: the Flamin'

Groovies, Jason & the Scorchers, the Fiery Furnaces. Now comes Texas

alt-rockers the Burning Hotels. Like those groups, this quartet wears

influences openly, but unlike the aforementioned, the Burning Hotels have

not yet learned to transcend inspirations.

On their first full-length, Novels, the Burning Hotels echo similar and more

famous acts. Post-punk nugget "Austin's Birthday" mimics the Killers, right

down to cloning Brandon Flowers' vocal mannerisms. Standout track "Boy or a

Girl" imitates the Strokes' boom and brash veneer. Melancholic romance

reverie "Silhouette" mirrors Coldplay.

While the Burning Hotels offer danceable alt-rock tunes fronted by sharp

guitars and enthusiastic rhythms, there is a lack of originality that too

often mires the material in the land of caricature. There are worse things

than sounding like the Strokes or the Killers, but hopefully on subsequent

outings the Burning Hotels will find their own voice.

Grade: C

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