On Fort Worth band Burning Hotels' eponymous release, we meet a band moving in a different, far more focused direction than showcased on previous efforts. A lineup change and name change (no more "The") in late 2010 sparked the new direction, then displayed in the form of a video art project. The song used in that clip, "Allison" was later released as a single. Now it's just one of eight tracks on an impressive new release.
These new songs here are moody and synth-driven, heavily influenced by the '80s new-wave movement. If their previous works were described as "sex punk," these new songs are best described as "sex wave." But Burning Hotels ably make this territory their own while also not completely ditching their post-punk roots. The up-tempo lead track, "Beard," still features the danceable beat that has come to be expected from Matt Mooty and Chance Morgan. Meanwhile, if "Sound City," another standout jam, had been around in 1984, there's little doubting it would've ended up in a John Hughes film.
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Yes, it's a different Burning Hotels. A better one, too. This is a more cohesive, fluid record, one that fully displays Mooty and Morgan's growth as musicians.