Review: Hotel Lux leave us wanting more with debut EP ‘Barstool Preaching’

Back in November we brought news of Hotel Lux’s single ‘Tabloid Newsaper’ and this Friday sees the Portsmouth hailing lads release their debut EP ‘Barstool Preaching’ on Nice Swan Records.

Creeping up the popularity scale since their birth onto the Indie scene back in 2017, the arrival of Barstool Preaching is long overdue but by Jebus is it worth the wait. There ain’t no dawdling around here. Every track has been perfectly polished, the band have put out a dose of five extremely juicy tracks.

Second to high octane opener ‘Tabloid Newspaper’, ‘Eddie’s Gaff’ is good-humoured in melody and audaciously met with chants of lives being wasted away. Lewis Duffin has mastered the manner in which he rolls off a tale, singing lyrics in such relatable ways it hurts, knowing all too well the exploits and notions that we all encounter in this business of living. The displacement of wrongs inside of 80s disco songs is undeniably one of the best lyrics on the EP.

The first twenty seconds of ‘Charades’ could easily appear on gripping crime bonanza The Bill if it were to make a come back. Imagine it cutting up the end credits as the fuzz walk off into the sunset gleefully donning their clodhoppers, another crime solved. The bass and synth flirt in such a way it leaves your temples throbbing. However it must be said that Duffin’s ragged vocals juxtaposed with those feminine notes are just the cooling agent needed whilst subtly passing on advice that you should probably be taking.

The whole EP is gagging to be played live but that rings especially true for the last couple of tracks. The ‘Loneliness of a Stage Performer’ is dingier, lyrics crooned in a dolorous manner, not to mention the melodic guitar solo that hits like that moment you thought you’d finished a brew you really enjoyed but then you find there’s still a little bit left in the cup.

‘Ballad of You and I’ is a hazier offering, the sleepy child of the family, like pressing your nose up against the cold glass of a window pane, voyeuristically looking into a room that you shouldn’t. It demonstrates their ability to be mellow without erring on the solemn side. A gorgeously cracking song that’s carried by the choir-boy lads and that trumpet, leaving the listener to hungrily question why it has to end there.

Barstool Preaching is out on Friday 24th April via Nice Swan Records.

The new issue of So Young is out now. It’s SOLD OUT in print but you can read the digital edition below.