Album Review: Hotel Books – “Run Wild, Young Beauty”

Hotel Books
Run Wild, Young Beauty
(InVogue Records)

Hotel Books is a spoken word indie/emo/light hardcore group in the vein of Listener, Being As An Ocean, and mewithoutyou. For better and worse for the band’s third record, that’s all you really need to know about Run Wild, Young Beauty. The band’s last album, I’m Almost Happy Here, But I Never Feel At Home, felt greatly indebted to its obvious influences, but it didn’t offer up anything worthwhile or memorable. It wasn’t by any means awful or offensive, but it lacked a unique personality. There were glimmers of hope with this latest release, though. The title track was a nice, emotive song, rich with Cam Smith’s neat poetry.

Unfortunately, the results of the album showcase that while Cam has stepped up his game here, the rest of the band has stagnated. The songs on here feel like an assortment of those two compartment Greek yogurts, with the fruit or nuts separated from the yogurt. Each of the tracks on here features interesting lyrics and emotive vocals (spoken/sung/half-screamed) that make up the different flavors. However, each of these tracks has just about the same musical backbone, making up the same damn bland yogurt. The music on here is that twinkly brand of indie/emo that lacks dynamics or much to differentiate itself among the tracks. It’s done well enough that it’s never a detriment, despite that flavor of similarity. That’s what listeners are left with. Hotel Books takes one step forward and one step back. (Nicholas Senior)

Purchase Run Wild, Young Beauty here.

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