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Last Thursday (the 23rd) I went to the Sunset Tavern to see my new favorite Seattle band, Hotels. Also on the lineup was Motorik—not to be confused with Motorist, who played with Hotels when I saw them in September—and Denelian. I walked in near the end of Denelian's set and only got to hear their last three songs. This indie-rock trio sounded all right, good enough that I'd like to hear a full set some time.

Motorik are a trio on bass and vocals, guitar, and drums. They had a dark, spare, hard rock sound—almost goth, without being goth metal. Judging by the sound, I presumed that all the songs were about obscure cults conducting bloody rituals to placate unspeakable gods of the outer darkness. Their singer was pretty monotonic and seemed to have three pitches, mostly singing low with accents medium and high, but at least was singing. Although they could play well enough, the band felt amateurish in a sense, like they hadn't been together a long time. When the singer introduced a song as "a really old one", I wondered if she meant more than a year. But to be fair, that song was pretty good, and overall I did actually think they were okay and would see them again.

Hotels are the quartet of Blake, Max, Brendan, and Kyle, on bass and lead vocals, guitar, keyboard, and drums. They played a great set of music inspired by '80s New Wave and post-punk but fresh-sounding and original. The band displayed impressive musicianship with their precise, fast playing. The combination of beautiful guitar melodies, complex bass lines, and sold drumming base created a very rich full sound. At times moody, at times joyous, their music is very visceral, encouraging listeners to be in the moment and dance. Unlike Mono In VCF, whose lush cinematic pieces have left me just impatient for more new material despite how much I love it, Hotels are a band I can see over and over in concert without getting tired of their songs and also still eagerly wait for new songs. Although I already owned a copy of their debut CD, Thank You For Choosing..., I made a point of picking up another copy at this show just so I could introduce more of my friends to the band.



I have a brief review to write for Asobi Seksu last Monday at Nectar Lounge, and then coming up in November a bunch of shows including DJ Spooky, Halou, My Brightest Diamond, Yeasayer, and Annuals. Looking forward to some great shows!


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