January 11th, 2013 1:00pm

Let’s Pretend

Hospitality @ Bowery Ballroom 1/11/2013
Eighth Avenue / The Right Profession / Friends of Friends / Going Out / Betty Wang / Nightingale / Experience / Liberal Arts / Sleepover / Julie / The Birthday / The Drift / Monkey / All Day Today // Half An Apple / Argonauts

Hospitality “Sleepover”

The musicians in Hospitality have a level of skill and craft that isn’t tremendously obvious to the casual listener, and so they’ve very easy to underrate or overlook. They’ve all got chops but play together seamlessly rather than showboat, putting the songs at the forefront. More often than not, this approach yields better bands and better songs, but I don’t think many people come away from Hospitality’s debut thinking mostly about the harmonic structure and rhythmic interplay in their songs. It took me a solid year to really grasp what they’re doing in this music and get beyond the “this sounds a little like…” game, and it took seeing them in concert to get a handle on their dynamic. The album is recorded very plainly, but it somehow obscures the flashier elements of their songs. There’s more drama to their sound in concert, particularly in the new songs, which rock with more flair and sometimes approach a Television-like grandeur. This is exactly the right direction for them – less twee, more assertive and epic. It was already right there, it’s just a matter of what’s being emphasized.

Buy it from Amazon.

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