Diving into a record that’s virtually incomparable to current trends and artists is a refreshing yet tedious task because how will the people know what to expect? Will words be enough to entice when you can’t compare the record to something already readily known? The answer to all those conundrums in the case of Boston’s Motel Black is yes, for sure. Because great music shouldn’t need that kind of crutch, right?
Motel Black is one of those just-on-the-tip-of-your tongue artists where they seem so familiar yet so fresh and if we just haaaaad to come up with the closest comparison for vocalist Brian George it’d be John Carpenter’s godson Daniel Davies (And also the real son of The Kinks’ Dave Davies!) who we loved back when he fronted his own outfit, Year Long Disaster, and especially when he did a small stint with Karma To Burn (RIP).
But I digress.
“Gates” is simply iconic. That’s it, that’s the descriptor. It’s Americana meets Grunge meets Alternative meets Soul dressed in a Rawk package and it more than delivers on all those fronts. “PPB” continues the mood with a somber number that’s seriously sobering with Ryan Dougherty and George’s guitars laying out a steady stream of riffs as Sean Joncas’ drums and Marcos Nava’s bass serve as building blocks to create this sort of skyscraper of sonic excellence. “Quoting Thoreau” goes to some gnarly places like, dare we say, Soundgarden circa Badmotorfinger with the power presented within the intricate intertwining lines while the title track just rips… but in a subtle, cool way.
“Morning Hum” goes for the heartstrings with a beautiful track that shows off the range and prowess of both George’s voice and Dougherty’s guitar while “Evening Standard” lets Nava’s bass blast shine, setting the pace under George’s cathartic croon before the rest of Motel Black enter to bring about one of the biggest sounding songs on here. “Single Stall” finishes off Humor Balance quite nicely and is destined to be on a True Detective soundtrack down the road with the way it mixes the dreaminess of “Wicked Game” with this hushed American dystopia feel to deliver a gorgeous, buzzing anthem to close out the record.
Humor Balance drops on July 15th. You can pre-order and pre-save yours now by heading here or here and for the latest on Motel Black, follow them across the information superhighway by clicking here, here, or here.