Hospitality - Trouble

So, good, intelligent, fun pop with some startling highlights, mostly in the first half. Worth a listen? Oh for sure, for sure.

 

http://www.firerecords.com http://www.konkurrent.nl


Now, what's this? A clunky, poppy and confrontational record,  stripped down and moody, occasionally attitudinous and feather spitting to boot? We dig! Although it does get quiet in the second half of the record, it always feels right from the very off (the harbinger being that stop start beat in Nightingale) that Hospitality's Trouble could fall apart at any minute. The opening song keeps it together with the aid of a tremendous (and unexpected) synth break. It's refreshing and a fair indicator of what's to come.
Make no mistake, this is a pop record, intelligent and fun. Going Out is a sort of edgy, Joe Jackson-style pop song, a few melodic hooks sprinkled around at appropriate moments lighten up this moody ploddder. It's very predatory, in a "I'm gonna getcha" sort of way. I Miss Your Bones is a more obvious crowd pleaser,  and built round this stalking bass line that screams Pylon, or 1979 Soft Boys at you. (Or a Soft Boys who couldn't play, a nascent Teardrops trying to be the Soft Boys maybe a better thought.) But so what, the song (especially the refrain "I miss your bones") is built to sing along to. It's got this messy, underpowered side  to it that is just great, teetering on the edge of fragile, but pulling itself together after a quick unobtrusive piss in the gutter. No one's watching...
Strop over, we get four softer cuts and an increasingly noticeable change in direction from the band. Inauguration is a mawkish pop song that sometimes comes to life with some groaning sound effects, but really serving as a quick starter for Rockets and Jets, a great, whimsical track that explores its inner self without getting too mawkish. There's this spacey, mid seventies sheen to the sound too; a bit of Karoli-esque guitar screeches across the horizon at some points, which really helps. Sullivan is softer and more reflective still, the beat reduced to a plod that still encourages the piano to lend the correct sort of emotional tone. Then, bookending our quiet section, we get It's Not Serious; a sort of weepy Prefab Sprout would have penned. Just listen to the yelp, "tell all your girlfriends", which is a classic Paddy McAloon line if ever there was one...
After this quartet, things pick up pace with the dreamy Last Words, which is a little too soft and rich textured (and samey, and "Baywatchy") for these ears but it does sit well in the general scheme of the album. There's a messy guitar break where things do fall apart; a bit which is much needed. Sunship is a dreamy, hippy tune that manages to capture more atmosphere in the opening strums than the previous track did in its lifetime. It seems Hospitality need some quiet in their lives as the last track, Call Me After is another strange, ever so slightly Barrett-esque stop-start, acoustic strum. It's still a nice way to wrap matters up.


So, good, intelligent, fun pop with some startling highlights, mostly in the first half. Worth a listen? Oh for sure, for sure.