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Non-Prog CD Reviews


Sunshine Hotel

Review by Gary Hill

These guys advertise themselves as a jam band. I think they are more alternative based than that suggests. I will say that I like the music much more than I like the vocals. There are some especially strong tunes on this set, along with a number of less impressive, but still effective music. I will say that I think they could have picked stronger tunes to start and end the disc, which would have made the whole album seem better. Then again, a lot of people these days just listen to a song or two, not whole albums.

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Track by Track Review
At The Sunshine Hotel
There is some smoking hot slide guitar at the start of this. The track brings a modern alternative pop angle to some Southern-infused bluesy rock and roll with a Bo Diddley beat.
Something About Her
This is a bouncy rocker that has plenty of that alternative pop angle at play. There is a short drum solo in the middle of the tune. The organ on this lends some really retro textures.
Hey Cinderella
With a bit of an emo edge, this isn't a big change, but it is an energetic and entertaining tune.
Aliens Have Taken My Brain
A bit more melodic, this is a catchy romp that works really well. This song is one of the most effective here for me. It has some tasty guitar soloing, too. It's more pure alternative pop than anything else.
The Doorman
Folk, alternative rock and more are on the menu here. This works pretty well, but isn't a standout.
Sunshine Girl
I dig the bouncy groove to this cut. It has a little bit of a ska-feeling to it.
A Little 2 Hi
Now, there are reggae elements all over the opening of this. The track is a mix of reggae and the alternative pop rock we've heard throughout. It earns a parental advisory, in part for a little language, but mainly for drug references.
Crank This Up
Old school rock music, alternative and island elements all merge here. This is fun, but not a standout. I do like the piano break a lot.
Big Love (The Doorman's Theme)
Much of the same sounds we've heard here drive this cut. It's a particularly catchy and fun romp. I consider it a highlight of the set, and I love the guitar soloing.
Pearl (Girl in Room 303)
Staring a little mellower, this is another especially strong tune. It's so much fun with more of a mainstream rock vibe. It alternates between the slower and mellower modes and the rocking ones.
The Girl I Knew Yesterday

More of a roots rock based tune, this has plenty of style. It's not a standout, but it's a good tune.

Talking About You
This is a mellower song. It has a lot of style and charm. It's another highlight.
Song About Sunshine
A nice contrast to the previous piece, this is one of the hardest rocking things here. It has some cool alternative rock at play. There is an intriguing break later, too. I'm reminded just a little of Cracker on this song. It's another standout.
Freeway Paradise
A bouncy rocker, this has Americana and some hints of emo merged. It's solid, but not as strong as the previous tune. Honestly, I think that if these late two songs had been switched in the track order, the disc would have had a much stronger closing.
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