Gold Motel – Gold Motel

Release Date: July 3rd, 2012
Reviewed By Court Smoots

Gold Motel is best described by a sound I like to identify as “Pristine Pop”, shimmery and shiny in nature but without all the blah blah-ness of the radio sensational standard. GM is the brainchild of Greta Morgan, who, sick of the dried up Chicago Pop/Punk scene packed up her things and headed west to LA seeking inspiration. What came from said voyage was an appreciation for the golden melodies of the gold coast, not unlike the work of Bethany Cosentino, better know by the title of her two-piece spectacular Best Coast.

There is however a distinct difference between what Morgan and Cosentino do, Morgan’s music being more light hearted with a cleaner tone while Best Coast is found to be more garage-y with Cosentino singing in a nasally “I don’t give an F” manner (this is no slight to BC, I find them to be quite good).

A knack for crafting stellar melodies is however a shared skill of both Morgan and Conentino, never more apparent then on the records first track Brand New Kind Of Blue which finds Morgan’s beautiful voice singing “Drifting In A Brand New Kind Of Blue, Hoping That I’m Only Passing Through, The Ache Of A Decade, The Cure Is Overdue, For This Brand New Kind Of Blue”. And Always One Step Ahead which finds a thumping bass line along with Morgan stating in a matter of fact nature “It’s been my lucky season trying to find a way to get to you, for every step I take you’re taking two”.

Not all of the credit for this records success should go to Morgan however, she is after all accompanied by a stellar backing band, made up of Chicagoans Eric Hehr (guitar), Dan Duszynski (guitar, vocals), Matt Minx (bass), and Adam Coldhouse (drums). These guys really know their way around jangly surf-esq rock, kicking out reverby guitars joined by a full and pulsing rhythm section from begging to end.

All in all this record is a welcome change from Morgan’s former work, which wasn’t nearly as heartfelt or believable, even though both were considered pop outfits. Proving a fact that I find myself championing quite often, that pop music isn’t just meant for the radio. It can stand along side any great college radio drone-rock (which I happen to love) as long as it leaves an impact. In the end it’s all about whether or not the music takes hold of you, which Gold Motel does almost immediately. Well done.


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