Hotel Fathers - Ordinary Life
Release Date: Out Now
I normally have a fairly standard way of reviewing albums which is to listen once, then listen a second time while I write it up and then a third time for luck just in case I missed anything. However, I'm feeling fruity and throwing caution to the wind so I'm going to just write as I listen to this one with all the confidence of somebody walking straight in to the middle of the dance floor, stone cold sober. 'Ordinary Life' is the debut album from enigmatic duo Hotel Fathers and it opens with the cinematic and moody tones of 'One Kiss' which feels like Nick Cave writing music for a snuff movie which, as it grows and spreads, takes on a dark, Bond-esque vibe which I love. Strong start.
That cinematic vibe continues on 'Falling' as the swooning guitars and low-slung match up perfectly as if Leonard Cohen and Richard Hawley were holed up in a studio somewhere on the outskirts of LA. The darkness lifts on 'Not Like This' as we are given a sense of hope, morning-after glory and fragile beauty picked out in the acoustic notes before 'Free As A Bird' gets us back to the business of rocking out with a Led Zep vibe coursing through the veins and Chris Cornell's heart in the vocals.
It is rare to find a song that would work as both a funeral song and to soundtrack someone walking down the aisle to be married but 'Golden Sun' is one such song, loaded with emotion and the gift of space to let your thoughts and feelings roam. There's a wild west vibe to 'Giants' and again those cinematic soundscapes come back to conjur images of dusty landscapes, lonely vistas and a wildness in the eyes to match. Penultimate track 'Diamonds & Gold' feels like a mumbled but unrequited love letter to youth and the guitar solo work really seals the deal of making this a proper rock ballad. The album closes out on the title track and 'Ordinary Life' builds from a slumped heap of a song in to confident, triumphant and defiant stride towards the horizon as the guitars fade out (I do love a fade out). This whole collection feels like a soundtrack that was written just waiting for the film to be shot but maybe its more of a soundtrack to life and those snapshot moments of significance that we walk past every day without noticing. Whatever it is, 'Ordinary Life' is a bloody impressive record and one that you really need to give some time to. Quite a lot of time, actually.
More information: https://www.facebook.com/hotelfathers