Two new reviews: Justin Donnelly, Australia (The Metal Forge)http://jjdonnelly.blogspot.com/2011/06/hotel-wrecking-city-traders-gary-arce.htmlJoe Powell, UK (Freelance)
A desert at dawn, beaches at sunset, the Doors wandering the dunes setting the blueprint for psychedelia, these are the images the new LP from Hotel Wrecking City Traders (a collaborative endeavour with Gary Arce of desert legends Yawning Man) conjures on first listen. Endless shoegaze drones, distant soloing, this isnt your average imitation Sabbath, HWCT's latest effort prove they are much more than a run of the mill stoner band, with far more subtle riffs than most other bands in the same musical vein, reminiscent of 'explosions in the sky' (perhaps locked in a fight to the death with 'this will destroy you' with the giant lamprey from dune lurking somewhere underneath). This is music for people who want something a little deeper than iPods, Tesco, and slow mo' songs about weed. This record is made for the outdoors, it's a perfect soundtrack to dusk in the middle of nowhere with friends, tents and beers, the trance like riffs Arce is known for, compliment the intense, pounding almost tribal feel of Ben Matthew's drumming technique and taunt the ear, leading you into the far off melodies (many of which aren't immediately apparent on first listen) then snatching it away again making this an endlessly listenable record. I've had the two ten minute tracks on repeat for a few days now and it throws up something different each time, it's a gentle giant of a record, chilled brutality, intense yet mellow. The first of the two tracks; Coventina's Cascade is the standout for me, with it's huge hesitant intro and equally heavy finish, while Traverse of the Oxen really does create an image of a great migration. Both tracks beg to be played at full volume, the louder it is the bigger the spaces are to climb inside and get lost in the sound. Every image that this record creates in my mind is firmly set in semi-darkness, sun hidden by huge clouds with a decidedly elated, peaceful feel to the entire piece. If that sounds good to you then this record is definitely for up your street. Even if it seems a little alien on first listen; go with it and you'll be hugely rewarded time and again, you'll thank me later, trust me.