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coverpic flag 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 e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Hotels articles/reviews: Hydra, Where Hearts Go Broke, Hydra, Where Hearts Go Broke.

© 2011 Luna Kafé