Motel Beds, Feelings, Fictionband Mechanics

Motel Beds are a midwestern indie rock powerhouse that harkens to the big slacker bands of the 90s, and then roars past them on wings of champion musical badassery.  Each of the band’s members, who cut their teeth in a wide variety of the Gem City’s strongest groups, make athletic guitar runs, deliver serpentine rhythms, and drop clever, existential lyricism in a way that sounds completely effortless.  “Mr. Salad Days” offers lurching and fleet-fingered guitar leads, but an even bigger treat are the vocal harmonies here, which really help the track to take flight.  “Is This On” and “81 Sun” are congenial pop songs of the highest degree – sweet, catchy and breezy jangle that sticks to the eardrums and heart like honey.  The soloing around the three minute mark of “81 Sun” shows just how good these guys are at adapting classic guitar playing for their own playbooks.  “Bourbon Skies” is perhaps the band’s most moody and melancholy offering.  But, even when the band is churning in stormier waters there is still an artful sparkle that is completely disarming.   When PJ Paslosky sings, “I do my best world when my backs up against the wall,” and I have to believe “Pinkies” was penned during one of those times.  The guitars duel in playful call and response to each other, the rhythm section is creative and skillful, and the vocals couldn’t sound more wide eyed or sincere.  I was also completely psyched to see the return of “Suckerpunch The Odometer,” a song Paslosky resurrected from his Ohio Casket days, included here.  The track features the timeless, “I’m gonna grow wings/so I can take a shit on your car,” which are among the most memorable lyrics any band has put to tape. Dayton tends to keep our rock heroes a well kept secret until they’re in or nearing their middle ages.  Motel Beds are seasoned players, but they’re not so overconfident that it keeps them from pushing the limits of indie-rock/-pop songcraft.  We don’t expect their Feelings will stay bottled up for long. 

Recommended For Fans Of: Pavement, Modest Mouse, Archers of Loaf, Dismemberment Plan