Published Apr 27, 2020Although occasionally unrefined, Hotel Lux's debut EP Barstool Preaching is charming enough to shine bright in an increasingly straight edged world.
Just like the post-punk scene in London during the past few years, the inner workings of British pub culture is hard to describe, volatile and occasionally esoteric. Like the packets of KP Dry Roasted Peanuts found behind every bar, a recurring feature in the scene is the ever-present dustings of spoken word. The latest frayed-around-the-edges band to preach alongside the likes of Shame, Yak, Squid and Black Country New Road is the engaging Hotel Lux.
Born in Portsmouth and shaped in London, the quintet launches into their new EP with the feisty "Tabloid Newspaper." The snarling guitars and a wild drum groove encourages you to bop enough to spill the top of your pint. The hangover hits in "Eddie's Gaf," where frontman Lewis Duffin exemplifies the skill of slurring a tale and piecing it together with just the right amount of sleazy endearment.
Several of the songs in the EP have chant-filled choruses, but no more than the final two — the unpleasant lyrics compliment the often clunky instruments in a way that almost induces intoxication. They're songs to listen to as you stumble home.
Possibly the strongest take away from the EP is that it nudges you into action — the slurring verses and catchy bridges offer a glimpse into the steamed window of a local. It's an EP yearning to be heard live, although you get the impression that the grimy pub will soon elevate to a less sticky and much bigger venue for these boys. (Nice Swan)