Listen to 405 Radio
The Lemonheads - Hotel Sessions

The Lemonheads - Hotel Sessions

by , 03 January 2012

2011 has been a year of highly glossy pop and R&B and a spectacular selection of electronic artists breaking through, with polished and refined music that saunter from cold, icy minimalism to crisp, clean sampling insanity. But how about something completely different to start 2012? Evan Dando, of The Lemonheads, has been putting the finishing touches to an early 90s recordings, aptly titled Hotel Sessions, due to the Australian residence he was staying in after their first Japanese tour had finished.

Consisting of music that made it onto their sixth record, Come On Feel The Lemonheads, and various unfinished demos, the stripped pack, laid bare collection offers a uniquely open artistic release, showcasing the bare bones, talented as they may be, before any studio or technology gets their hands on the darn things. Hailed by Mr Dando himself as the $53 album (due to that being the cost of a walkman and a tape…), the 14 tracks offer a deal more insight, heart and depth than the biggest, loudest pop smashes of the past few years.

‘Paid To Smile’ and ‘’I’ll Do It Anyway’ are wonderfully preserved sonic nuggets, with the hiss and crackle of the tape standing as an audible monument to the pure pop intelligence whirring away within the band during this time period. Similarly, in the amble of ‘Down About You’ and the passing motorbike grunting at the end of ‘Being Around’, an aura of intimacy and a surprisingly personal ambience crackle to life. Everything isn’t up to complete scratch, with a couple of unreleased tracks like ‘Superhero’ rolling towards bland and wishy-washy territory, but these act as temporary blips in the pleasant proceedings

There’s a nostalgic moment on ‘You Can Take It With You (Part 2)’, halfway through the record, where Dando states he is gonna ‘risk one more short one on this side’, recalling a lost point in musical recording history. And the album, generally, delivers that same nostalgic sense, especially with somewhat simple lyrics, tunes and vocals that recall a lost adolescence, highlighting this talented young musician at a point in time where The Lemonheads were in the midst of their most commercial and critically successful period (just before Dando’s drug issues lead to their sad decline). It’s an easy listening sort of brilliance, not quite shimmering with wonder but trundling along with a soft, comforting pace, granting a welcome insight behind the so-called-scenes of such a shining artist.

Rating: 7/10

Purchase and listen

Related Reviews

  • Zola Jesus – Conatus

    Zola Jesus – Conatus

    by Karl Leitner

    It's a curious quirk of fate that both Kreayshawn and Zola Jesus should find their careers breaking at roughly the same time: both Russian-American; both born in the borderline acceptable year of 1989; and both (although nothing from Conatus is likely to topple 'Gucci Gucci' with its 20,000,000 views) trading heavily on their sometimes-you-can-make-it-on-your-own image. [read more]

  • Steve Moore / Majeure - Brainstorm

    Steve Moore / Majeure - Brainstorm

    by David Zammitt

    In 2008 Peter Saville emphatically pronounced the album cover dead. Shrinking to fit the screen of an iPod or smartphone, artwork is increasingly measured in pixels rather than inches, easily passed over in a digital age. For Steve Moore and Anthony Paterra, two halves of synth-prog duo Zombi, however, album art provides a telling entry point to the music that waits underneath. [read more]

  • Shield Your Eyes - Volume 4

    Shield Your Eyes - Volume 4

    by Rob Hollamby

    Many of the reviews that appeared in the wake of Theme From Kindness, predecessor to this, the fourth (natch) offering from power trio Shield Your Eyes, waxed confused at best, and at worst, downright appalled. [read more]

  • The James Cleaver Quintet – That Was Then, This Is Now

    The James Cleaver Quintet – That Was Then, This Is Now

    by Jack McKenna

    I would say it's the elephant in the room, but it's been debated so much over the internet (and in person) that it's no longer an elephant. It is now a bee, because everyone loves to point out when there's a bee flying around the room. So this particular bee in the room is that this particular quintet, who hail part from Eastbourne and part from Ashford, were the band on that Lucozade advert, doing that cover of 'Buck Rogers', on skateboards I must add. [read more]

Comments

Follow Us

Recommended Posts

Popular Posts

Mailing List

Sign up to our weekly mailing list.