It has been over two years since The Motel Life released their début album but now with new EP ’Those Bruises,’ they are back to infect a wider audience with their melodic pop-punk sound.
The EP opens with ‘House.’ The song starts delicately, with sombre and enticing vocals in the style of Fun. before exploding into a joyous crescendo of feedback and catchy guitar hooks. It is a bold and enjoyable way to start. Next is ‘Doctor’s Note’ is another slice of bass-led pop-punk that again emulates a sound similar to Fun. or Motion City Soundtrack. The Motel Life clearly have big ambitions with their sound that the songs back up those ambitions.
<a href=“http://themotellife.bandcamp.com/album/those-bruises-2” data-mce-href=“http://themotellife.bandcamp.com/album/those-bruises-2”>Those Bruises by The Motel Life</a>
‘Bruises’ is a slower, ballad-esque song of love and hurt. It bears the scars of past relationships and has the sorrowful and spiteful edge of ‘Almost Here’ era The Academy Is… and is a highlight of the EP. Mike Escanuelas sounds like William Beckett too, a powerful voice with authority but also an air of sexiness about it.
‘Just Leave’ also shares certain characteristics with The Academy Is… as the intricate and interloping guitar riffs meander astride each other as dazzling vocals weave their way through the song.The narrative unfolds perfectly in line with the music and it certainly makes this a highlight of the EP.
Closer ‘Cold Hands’ returns to the balladry of ‘Bruises’ and proves a fitting way for the album to fade out in a melee of angst. ’Those Bruises’ proves to be a well-rounded EP but also leaves the listener wanting more.
Overall, this is an enjoyable return from The Motel Life. Each song is distinct and well-crafted. Most songs stand up to repeated listens with some remaining firmly lodged in your mind for a long while after. A must listen for fans of clever and emotional pop-punk and worth checking out for others. I await the full-length eagerly!
‘Those Bruises’ by The Motel Life is available now as a free download on Bandcamp.
The Motel Life links: Official Website|Facebook|Twitter|Soundcloud|Bandcamp
Words by Tom White