On The Casino Floor

by Hotels

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Seattle-based sci-fi pop band Hotels, one of KEXP’s ‘top discoveries’ of recent years, are back with their latest opus. Hotels’ third album sees the much-loved Seattle band build on the strengths of their acclaimed sophomore album Where Hearts Go Broke, taking their addictive and singular meld of post-punk, shoegaze rock and cinematic pop and launching it into outer space. On The Casino Floor is a dizzying concept album, its seven masterful cuts telling the story of a secret agent, his former mentor and current arch-nemesis, and a nefarious prince’s plan to destroy Earth during the grand opening of the universe’s only outer space casino complex...

The scene for this epic adventure is set by ‘From The West’, Blake Madden’s mellifluous baritone imparting a romantic yet edgy tale in which “love becomes a home” over tumbling drums and wooshing synths. This initial propulsion is halted by the gorgeous Brian-Wilson-meets-Mercury-Rev melancholy of ‘Lonely Islands’. The title track is perhaps the album’s dreamiest and most uplifting cut, enrapturing the listener with over seven minutes of majestic astral pop, before noir-punk single ‘The Bat Watusi’ ups the tempo a notch with swirling effects and unashamedly rocking guitars. ‘Trouble At The Consulate’ is akin to prime New Order, its reverb-laden bassline, metronomic drums and yearning synths mustering a brooding anxiety-disco vibe. Then, the cascading guitars of finale ‘Sleep In Fame’ bring to mind the John Barry theme to the classic Bond movie You Only Live Twice, doused in some of the best shoegaze and dream-rock dynamics you’re likely to hear. It’s the perfect goosebump-raising send-off to an incredible album, tying up the album’s narrative ideas before the final credits roll.


released February 23, 2011


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