Motel Beds: These Are The Days Gone By [Album Review]

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motel-beds-these-are-the-days-gone-by-cover Motel Beds
These Are The Days Gone By
Misra Records [2014]

headphone approved reissue

Fire Note Says: Motel Beds release a compilation that you need to hear!

Album Review: Dayton, Ohio has been in the indie music news lately with the Breeders touring and Guided By Voices consistently releasing new records but what about peeling the Gem City music scene back a bit more and checking out one of its more unknown talents – Motel Beds. The group has recently signed to indie label Misra Records and just released this new compilation record, These Are The Days Gone By, which is starting to build the guys some much deserved hype. The album features a collection of hits, rarities, live favorites, and never-before-heard Beds tracks, all mastered by Carl Saff (Dinosaur Jr, Guided By Voices).

Of course, hype means nothing if you cannot back it up. The good news is – the Motel Beds have no problem bringing the indie goods and you will hear it right from the opening title track. The guitars, the drums, and the bass – are all here. Motel Beds do an incredible job of maintaining uniqueness by blending familiar sounds that will catch your ear at different moments. At times the band has a very Strokes vibe like on the killer closing track “Smoke Your Homework,” while at other times on “Cactus Kiss” they can have the flowing and harmonizing indie pop sound of Teenage Fanclub. Their blended style of British Invasion hi-fi meets Midwestern lo-fi is all theirs and shines on songs “Surfjerk,” “Ocean Flows,” and the duet with Kelley Deal, “Tropics Of The Sand.”

These Are The Days Gone By is the perfect collection of older tracks to get hooked on the Motel Beds while the record also provides the previously unreleased version of “Sunfried Dreams” which boosts a more Beatlesque sound to the song that I think improves on the original. Another more rare number near the close of the album includes the acoustic Matthew Sweet cover of “I’ve Been Waiting” which highlights singer Paul John Paslosky’s soft pitch. Not only can you tell Sweet has been an influence but when you dig a little deeper and see that Motel Beds also have covered the Beach Boys, Beatles and GBV in the past, their direction and output make perfect sense.

This excellent compilation accomplishes two things: 1) it makes you want to go back and hear their catalog 2) it gets you ready for a new album. The Motel Beds are not only leading the indie rock charge in Dayton but with SXSW on the horizon and a slot at the Nelsonville Music Festival there is a very good chance that their name recognition will be on the rise. I suggest you get ready now and add one of these limited records to your collection because the Motel Beds are coming – you should be ready!

*These Are The Days Gone By is currently a special vinyl only release of 500 individual hand painted LPs. You can find one HERE. The album’s official release will be later this year. Cover shown above is #171/500.

Key Tracks: “Smoke Your Homework”, “Sunfried Dreams (Alternate)”, “These Are The Days Gone By”

Artists With Similar Fire: The Strokes / T. Rex / The Kinks

Motel Beds Website
Motel Beds Facebook
Misra Records

– Reviewed by Christopher Anthony

Christopher Anthony

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