A while back, I interviewed a band from California called The Motel Life. Remember that? Well, that interview was three days before they began architecture on their new EP. Can you guess what I'm listening to?
We All Left Something Behind, not out yet to the general public, is shocking. It starts off warm and soft, but quickly launches into a heavily instrumented opening song. From then on out the EP carries a bittersweet and soulful vibe, with intertwined and sometimes haphazardly mixed styles, tempos, and volumes. Lyrics are top-notch as expected, instruments are right on key. Let's dive in, shall we?
The first really great song, titled Ghosts, is laced with dramatics. It opens with a suspenseful beat and painfully morose vocals, and gets sadder and darker until a spunky piano kicks in, followed by a nice upbeat. Next, what is in my opinion the best song of them all, titled Hunting Soldiers (Soldiers Hunting), is single-worthy. Everything about this song is perfect. From the slow, dark intro, to the unexpected jolt of what are definitely the best vocals. It has just enough sass and the instrumental execution of a fucking symphony. This track makes the whole EP.
The vocalist makes or breaks any band, and in this case, Michael Escanuelas makes it. Vocals are flawless throughout and have a unique, hearty sound, very unlike the whiney and outright identical qualities of most alt-rock bands today.
As far as downsides go, they're minimal. Piano placement is a bit sparse, and in a few songs the chorus is so saturated that for a second here and there, it gets dissonent. No shortfalls to really speak of.
The EP isn't good for a local band, it's good its own. This band has promise, I wouldn't be surprised if their big break comes around soon.
Check out The Motel Life's Myspace, and order/download the EP as soon as it comes out.