by tom johnson
Led by a staunch vocal which weaves its way between folk-ish flourishes and a Julian Casablanca-esque rasp, ‘Rational Expectations‘ is the brand new full-length record from New Orleans’ quartet Sun Hotel – and it’s adamantly throwing down a marker as one of 2015’s stand-out guitar records.
The blueprint for what makes this such an intriguing and fulfilling release is right there in the records opening track; ‘All I Wanna Finish Is My Beer‘ smartly building its way towards an emphatic finale that delivers rousing layers of emo-ish guitar and a spirited voice doing its very best to rise above the din. Many of the tracks follow a similar mission, albeit in a variety of inventive ways, and what that does is give a coherent shape to Rational Expectations that feels decisively sturdy. ‘After Peggy Tells Her Parents…‘ is a rousing four minutes which ends on a brilliantly subtle guitar run, while ‘Grave‘ immediately lends itself as one of the records most bullish tracks.
There are fluctuations here too. ‘1157 am’ is a light guitar-pop jam, while ‘Tropic Of Cancer‘ and ‘After – Death‘ also provide moments of measured restraint amongst the encroaching darkness. What Sun Hotel have done most impressively here, however, is to create a record that feels impressively steadfast, a hardy and repeatedly thrilling rock and roll record and everything that comes to stand for.
Stream the album in full below, right now.
Pre-order via Paco Tapes here
Pre-order the LP via Community Records here