Review Summary: Erase all preconceptions and bare all – check into Decortica’s Love Hotel and experience the pleasures of a masterful album while allowing your jaw to fall.
Primarily found in Japanese culture, a love hotel serves as a space available for individuals to purchase a private room in a public space for a brief amount of time to engage in romantic behavior. This intriguing - and most likely unfamiliar - comfort is the concept around which alternative rockers Decortica have built their second full length album, Love Hotel
. Here, the trio from Auckland, New Zealand, showcases their skills as highly capable songwriters and musicians over the span of six densely layered compositions spanning from unrelenting guitar led assaults to expansive sonic passages steeped in delicate melodies.
Decortica’s brief, yet utterly stunning affair begins with the snappy and ever flowing “Shinkansen". Immediately, front man and guitarist Mathew Bosher makes his presence known with his driving guitar playing and distinctive croon. Supplementing the record’s speedy opening, bassist Antoinette Lee and skins masher Daniel Bosher prove themselves worthy of acknowledgment as both create a rock steady backbone for the group to share. “Shinkansen” is truly a tune of halves. The first half is blistering, up-tempo madness, yet tasteful enough to root itself into one’s ears for lengths on end. After the initial bombast, the piece melts into a serene bridge demonstrating the trio’s ability to craft a mesmerizing atmosphere before allowing the song to come to fruition.
Following closely in the opener’s footsteps is the moody “Eros.” Steadily egged along by the tuneful low-end of Lee, the track continually blooms, getting wilder as the time slips by. After the midpoint of the tune, the band is in full force, offering muscular guitar passages and on point drumming. “Eros” is a composition that unfolds patiently, while channeling a sonic delivery similar to the Deftones as Decortica is capable of threading the line between hushed contemplation and deafening discontentment. After the restrained aggression of “Eros” comes a completely unbridled onslaught of guitar to introduce first single, “Monster in a Pretty Dress.” Seconds after the composition begins, evident is the fact that when Decortica wants to rock, they have more than enough chops to stand with the heavyweights. The majority of the song develops along the line of a moderately accessible alternative rock piece, reflecting the trio’s intelligent decision to release this tune first. In a fair universe, “Monster in a Pretty Dress” would annihilate radio stations attuned to heavier alternative rock.
One of the glowing characteristics of Love Hotel
is the record’s concise presentation which offers a package of six compositions. Generally, music fans would be taken aback by such a tiny number of tunes, but the statement of “…all killer, no filler” fits the album perfectly as each song averages about five minutes in running time, without any piece overstaying their welcome. Love Hotel
is a concept album utterly headstrong in avoiding any trace of pretension and because of this, Love Hotel
is a much more dynamic, engulfing, and captivating record.
A steady drumbeat greets the listener as the fourth song and album highlight, “Ennui,” unravels. During the course of the piece, Bosher turns in a passionate performance vocally as his soft but powerful melodies float above the threatening, ethereal backdrop constructed by his partners below. As “Ennui” comes crawling to a close, “The Sadness of Man” grabs the torch and proceeds on. The fifth part of this collection comes across as rather anthemic as Bosher continues his dazzling vocal performance, sounding impassioned as ever as the guitar and bass wind and grind in the background. Following a rather mid-tempo pace, the composition plays out carefully until all caution is thrown to the wind and the three-piece unleashes an intimidating conclusion which will surely get heads banging.
As the title track wraps up this incredible album in epic fashion, clear is the notion that there is no justice in the music industry for groups like Decortica. This trio has everything a music fan could want – moderately accessible and catchy songwriting, plenty of variation to prevent stagnation, and marketability as a three piece -with a female to boast - paving their way through nearly uncharted territory sonically. Decortica have the dedication and ability to rise to the summit of modern musical success, they just need readers like you to give their quality music a chance. Regardless of how one feels towards alternative rock with progressive tendencies, erase all preconceptions and bare all – check into Decortica’s Love Hotel
and experience the pleasures of a masterful album while allowing your jaw to fall.