Hotel Alexis – Goliath, I’m On Your Side

Hotel Alexis – Goliath, I’m On Your Side / 2006 Broken Sparrow / 14 Tracks / http://www.hotelalexis.com / http://www.brokensparrow.com /

There is little more to say about Hotel Alexis besides the fact that they play a brand of indie rock that has no time referent; tracks like “Soft Soft War” and “San Diego Backslide” paint a quiet yet nuanced picture of the band. “I Will Arrange for You to Fall II” allows the band’s instrumentation to shine the brightest, as the vocals are barely heard above a whisper during this song. In what seems to be a reversal of what is commonly heard on albums, the vocals that Hotel Alexis put forth act as highlighters for the instrumentation during this track.

The band eschews vocals for their sub-minute “Thicket”, and this is done to further show individuals that the band’s instrumentation is heads and shoulders above that of similar-sounding acts. “Suddenly, It’s You and Me” is the track when the band allows their vocals a major part of the track. The inclusion of a second, more instrumentally-tuned set of vocals links together all constituent parts of the band, allowing for the resulting effort to be as cohesive as they come. The band seems to be their strongest during those tracks that have a short runtime; while the band is able to succeed on the longer track, the definitive ending of songs like “Suddenly, It’s You and Me” will make individuals clamor for more. A strong track by Hotel Alexis is “The Silent One”, due to the fact that the band crams so much material into the four minutes of runtime.

Individuals can take literally one of ten different paths through the multi-layered track and get something completely different from Hotel Alexis. This only increases the ability of listeners to go forth and repeat this album. “Sister Ray” is a track that goes from the full sound of the track that immediately preceded it all the way to a Spartan arrangement that does not have room for much beyond the guitar and two sets of voices. If individuals would listen to “Sister Ray” and “The Silent One”, they will have heard the borders that constrain Hotel Alexis throughout the entirety of “Goliath, I’m On Your Side”. Hotel Alexis is a band that has came from left field, and by the time that “Goliath, I’m On Your Side” completes, they will have picked up a number of new fans. This is solid, dreamy indie-pop that is not immediately linkable to any specific act, and the innovations that Hotel Alexis make to the art form will hopefully be used in years to come.

Top Tracks: Sister Ray, The Silent One

Rating: 6.1/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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