The Best Songs in Dallas Music, 2010: The Burning Hotels Make A Case For Post-Punk at No. 24

[Over the next few weeks we'll be presenting our favorite local songs of the year, counting down from No. 25 to No. 1, one track a day. Today we take an in-depth look at song No. 24 on the list--and, please, feel free to click after the jump for a free download of the track. Keep checking back to see how the list pans out as we move closer to No. 1. And, after the jump, check out songs No. 50-25 in the Top 50 list that will update as it grows...]

Recent efforts from The Burning Hotels have seen the Fort Worth post-punkers taking their music in a more New Wave direction. Such is the risk, I suppose, when you sit on an album, awaiting the fruits of record deal promises that never comes. After all, inspirations are bound to change over time,

But, somewhat surprisingly, The Burning Hotels' sophomore release, Novels, (which was shelved for months and months after the band's appearance as the bad guys in the Vanessa Hudgens-driven battle-of-the-bands flick, Bandslam) doesn't bear the scars of a disc that gathered dust while the band tested potential record deal waters. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Bonus mp3:

The Burning Hotels -- "Austin's Birthday"

The Burning Hotels -- "Austin's Birthday"

Rather, Novels stands a timeless, poppy collection of post-punk greatness -- and that much is apparent from the very first listen of the the album's very first track, "Austin's Birthday," which infectiously claws and claws away at your brain until it's embedded in there for good.

Credit the the bouncy lead guitar riff laid out over the fuzzy rhythm guitar at the launch of the song for its immediate immersion into your consciousness. But that's only the start of things to come: Co-frontman Chance Morgan's vocals stand out memorably with his slacker-ish, "Yeah, yeah," refrains and his confident delivery of the "I'm staying in Texas till I know that my days are done" chorus line; so, too, does the double-time presentation of hook; and, heck, while the guitar solo halfway through the song might not be the most technically awe-inspiring, it's still a sonically appropriate one, complementing the rest of the song admirably.

All in all, 2010 was quite the interesting year for The Burning Hotels. The band could have easily fallen into the trappings of their brief moment in the Hollywood sun, believing that their small film cameo would launch them at the Next Big Thing out of DFW. And, hell, maybe they did believe that much. Unfortunately for them, though, that moment never came to pass. But, honestly, that doesn't mean the band should be any less proud of its year.

As a whole, Novels stands as a fine testament of a band that knows its way around the songwriting process. And "Austin's Birthday" serves as a unrelentingly endearing reminder of the band's incredible potential.

The Top 50 Local Songs of 2010 (Links to music videos and free song downloads available where applicable; links to streams where neither a download nor video exists.)
50. Dear Human - "Waiting"
Nervous Curtains - "All Yesterday's Parties"
Spector 45 - "Try Try Try"
Smile Smile - "Beg You To Stay"
Robert Gomez - "A Natural State"
45. Florene - "Parc Bitch"
44. Mount Righteous - "Eat Your Wife and Kiss The Barbecue"
43. The Strange Boys - "Be Brave"
Soft Environmental Collapse - "A Horse & Buggy Complex"
41. Deepspace5 - "Killing With Kindness"
Sextape -- "Lubricated Intimacy"
Museum Creatures - "Song ABC"
38. Ocelot - "Beating Hears"
37. Sir Silky - "The Squeeze (The Answer)"
Bone - "Homegurl"
35. Ishi - "Come Closer"
34. Hoyotoho - "Born Black"
33. Dorrough - "Get Big"
Katie Carroll - "Paper Girl"
31. Final Club - "Ruded"
30. Treal Lee & Prince Rick - "Throwed Off (Fuck Errbody)"
South San Gabriel - "All Night Long"
The Rocket Summer - "Walls"
Darktown Strutters - "Lucifer Rising"
School of Seven Bells - "Windstorm"
24. The Burning Hotels -- "Austin's Birthday"
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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman

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