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Hotel Wrecking City Traders - Hotel Wrecking City Traders & Gary Arce CD (album) cover


Hotel Wrecking City Traders


Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.14 | 3 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
2 stars 'Hotel Wrecking City Traders & Gary Arce' - Hotel Wrecking City Traders (4/10)

I would never proclaim the realm of 'stoner rock' to be my area of expertise, but I like to think I have an open ear to most types of music. Hotel Wrecking City Traders is a partnership between the brothers Matthews, who gear this band towards loose compositions, spacey atmospheres, and the laid back vibes that give it the label its been introduced to me as. Although this is coming to me under the guise of a full-length, 'Hotel Wrecking City Traders & Gary Arce' is a two track, twenty minute affair that starts and ends before the lasagna's out of the oven. Although I would normally feel disappointed about having such a small slice of music to hear from an artist, 'short and sweet' may have been the best route to go for this band. While HWCT are fine craftsmen of soundscapes, both of these compositions they offer here come off as being painfully dull, with little sense of dramatic build or composition to them.

Calling this 'noisy ambient rock' may be a little awkward, but it's probably the best way I could describe 'Hotel Wrecking City Traders & Gary Arce'. Armed with a guitar and drumkit, the Matthews brothers piece together slow, droning compositions, often improvising upon a set theme. Toby Matthews' guitar work would not sound out of place on a post-rock record, with plenty of reverb and echo to flesh out his noodling. Ben Matthews' drumwork may very well be the more interesting aspect of the band's music, managing to throw a few powerful fills into the generally slow, wandering music. 'Coventina's Cascade' is the more wandering of the two songs on the album, to be sure. It's a generally spacey piece where Toby's sometimes interesting guitar ideas gently drive the piece to nowhere. 'Traverse Of The Oxen' is a more powerful track, and also where the talent of these two musicians comes out most. Ben's drumming sounds like he could be playing for a post-metal band, and the flourishes of Toby's guitar work gets exciting here and there. There are times when the band sounds like they are building up to something climactic, and while those moments got me excited, I was usually let down. To be clear; Hotel Wrecking City Traders give the illusion of a dynamic composition on 'HWCT&GA', but never live up to it.

I may be hard on 'Hotel Wrecking City Traders & Gary Arce', but it is clear to me that this pair of musicians have a good chemistry together. A greater sense of composition and focus is needed to create a memorable music experience, however. The noisy, wandering approach of this music will appeal to some, but I am not feeling it.

Conor Fynes | 2/5 |


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