Futurebirds: Hotel Parties
Futurebirds originally burst out of Athens, Ga.’s vibrant, post-jam party scene almost a decade ago, but years of legwork have helped the roots-rock group refine their sound. On Hotel Parties, the road-weary Futurebirds return with an honest, mature and articulate record that explores life on the road’s double-edged sword—just as the tour meanders throughout the country, in and out of hotels and venues, the world at home continues to move full speed ahead. “For You” is a woebegone, yet stoic, country-soul ballad, replete with undulating, liquefied Leslie-effected guitar work that harkens to the ‘70s heyday of classic and psychedelic rock. Steadier mid-tempo fare like “Rodeo” “Deadbeat Hits” (with the verse “Everybody’s chasing that goose who’s slinging those chart-toppin’ golden yolks”) and “Xmas Drags” should appease the more mainstream crowd. Futurebirds are at their most stunning on the album-closing “Hard as You Like,” a whirly dirge, driven by pedal-steel player Dennis Love’s eerie lines. Thematically connected to the opening “Paranoia Letters,” this tune (and record) lingers with the listener long after the haunting harmonies have washed out. On the surface, Futurebirds are a well-adjusted Southern psych-rock touring machine sporting a few solid studio releases. Hotel Parties peels back a few layers, digs to the heart of the band, and reveals deeper truths about the endless wheel of longing and the never-ceasing journey toward fulfillment. More important, it’s Futurebirds’ most timeless and cohesive release to date.