Fort Worth's Burning Hotels remind me of something, but I just can't put a finger on it. Which is a good thing; this crew hides their influences well enough to avoid the derivative tag, but you can still feel enough familiarity to stay in the groove. The band's best song by far is "Stuck in the Middle," simultaneously radio-friendly and sidewalk gritty, the song U2 would have written if Bono had stopped thinking so much and let the band rely on the Edge's chiming guitar innovations. Of course, there's also an unexpected bridge that keeps you on your toes, changing times and beats under Chance Morton's lulling vocals, before the tune jumps back to the up-tempo proto-punk Burning Hotels is so good at. The band falters a bit when they go down-tempo, but The Strokes-ish "Out and Alone" is immediately redemptive. This is as smooth as jagged rock is gonna get, or vice-versa.
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