Wednesday, 24th May 2017. 11:30:19am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Experimental, IDM, Glitch Hotel Hotel- The Sad Sea


ARTIST: Hotel Hotel

ALBUM: The Sad Sea

LABEL: Silber Records

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 1-4-09

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Texas-based ensemble Hotel Hotel have created a near-masterpiece of experimental rock with this album; mixing the classic set-up of drums, guitar and bass with violins and an extensive array of effects pedals, the group has created an opus that stands up alongside the best work of such acts as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Rachel's, and Mogwai. Arguably a concept album, The Sad Sea ties its tracks loosely together with nautical themes that range from the literal, as on the drones and looping scrapes of "Mary Celeste," to the abstract, as on "The Dirac Sea," a two-part offering that ranges from tinkly ambient to stony instrumental rock and which takes its name not from an actual oceanographic feature, but rather a theoretical vacuum model used in quantum physics. While the journey begins with the tranquil shuffling snare and placid, indistinct guitars of "From Harbour," things gradually begin to take a darker turn, culminating in the two-part "The Captain Goes Down with the Ship," which starts off with bittersweet guitar-based ambiance evoking a sense of quiet fatalism that eventually evolves into a moody rock number, the drums slow but insistent, conjuring the feelings of terror and claustrophobia as the metaphorical ship's crew sinks into the airless depths. Nonetheless, it's a fascinating journey, if not one that ends well, and post-rock fans will definitely find it one worth embarking upon.

To learn more about this release, visit the band's page on the Silber Records website at www.silbermedia.com/hotelhotel/.


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