Six months since the release of the brilliant, The Last Hangman, it feels grimly satisfying to be back in Hotel Lux territory. From the offset, the band have inhabited a world of personal unrest, ready to speak starkly and vehemently about anything that gathers enough pace in their mind, almost like it was their mission from the very start. Daddy, released today, is an account of a “fucking bad guy”, and told unflinchingly, the lyrics barked out like a spitting, stream of consciousness.
Inspired by the Paulsgrove anti-paedophile riots of 2000 alongside various cases in their home town of Portsmouth, the song is, at times, an uncomfortable listen. One of the lines reads, “daddy was a bad guy with his hand upon my thigh, I said I don’t like it and continued to cry.” Lewis Duffin’s wordplay is consistently barbed, pushing every syllable and snarl to the forefront whilst the narratives are fleshed out and devoured with kitchen-sink aplomb, referencing the work of Alan Clarke and Shane Meadows.
This is brutish, British realism with its feet stuck solidly in the shit yet it’s paired with an air of sophistication from the grisly piano to the spidery guitar lines, that make it feel decidedly refined. Hotel Lux continue to charge on, enriched by the casualty of class and refreshingly deft of any pretension. An album can’t come quick enough.
‘Daddy’ will be released on 7″ Vinyl via Big Score Records and you can pre order here.
Photo by Dan Kendall
Single Art by Josh Whettingsteel