Three brothers and a father comprise the band Oceanside Hotels, and the inherent family ties make themselves clear in the cohesive music that the band produces. Classic, smooth and nostalgic is “Meant for Me,” the first track of Oceanside Hotels’ self-titled EP Oceanside Hotels. The light, cheerful song is led by youthful vocals, carefree lyrics and tight harmonies, and the energy of the song progressively increases until the end of the track.
“Matsumodo” begins with sultry strumming and wistful singing, and is eventually joined by throbbing bass, resolute percussion and melodic riffs on electric guitars. This song, consistent with the band’s title, radiates an oceanside, sunny atmosphere, akin to many songs by the Beach Boys and some songs by the Beatles.
The optimistic, bright spirits of the EP continue in “Painting Pictures,” a mellow, moderately paced ballad with poetic lyrics likening the stars to a woman. The metaphor is not original in any respect, but the vocal inflections and lyrical diction give the allegory new life to enjoy in a catchy, accessible tune.
“Grape Smoke” contains no surprises and is mostly a continuation of the styles and techniques found in the first half of the EP. However, “If You’re Not Dancing, You’re Probably Dead” takes the record down a more heavy rock path, one filled with hard-hitting drums, fully distorted guitar riffs and raspy, harsh singing that belies the lush, sanguine sounds from the rest of the EP.
Returning to the band’s typical style in “Love Doesn’t Give Up,” the EP ends on a positive note as the band grooves its way to the EP’s finish line. Easily the most danceable and sing-along-able song on the record, the final track on the EP is truly a highlight. Even though it is the longest track, it flies by due to its memorable tune, relaxed beat and energetic variety. As a whole, Oceanside Hotels EP is deserving of much praise and indicates that much more spectacular creations should soon arrive from this family and band.
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