Cricket - Motel Magazine

Motel Magazine LP

With an old-school rock and roll style and a few new ideas, Cricket are a three piece from Kentucky that mix a general Beatles sound with Chuck Berry style solos and contemporary pop-rock elements.

‘Motel Magazine’ also lends its name to the opening track which uses a smoky riff to introduce the John Lennon vs Marc Bolan vocal. The highlight of the track is the solo, which blazes through a few bars of classic inspiration.

Second track, ‘Woe Baby’, has a little seventies glam weaved in to the song and boasts an even better solo than it’s predecessor. At a brief two minutes, with a substantial time slot allocated to the solo, the chorus proves it’s mettle by still hanging around as the next track starts.

However, ‘Tell Me’ doesn’t give in to being a follow up to a great starting brace, the style is more mysterious than before. This song provides a bit of an interesting break from both previous tracks with the drums being the star. The pace of the track allows the song to bounce along rather happily and the difficult to pin down style could well make this the best song on the album.

A Meat Loaf style huge intro breaks off in to a dirty-grinding riff in ‘Dell Road’, which doesn’t quite have the verse or chorus to match, although another flippin’ good solo and a reappearance of the intro make it all worthwhile. 

‘Leave it all Behind’ is comparable to ‘Tell Me’, taking a slightly different musical path with a more distinctive combination of indie, rock, and sixties British pop. The vocal pops up a Buffseeds reference, especially with the high harmony towards the end of the song.

The final triplet winds its way through the Day Tripper-esque ‘Need a Fix’ before creating something that sounds very much like the current London retro-scene in the form of ‘Thief’s Vipers’, which creates a stand off between the vocal and the riff with bass and guitar locking tightly together.

Finally, ‘Whats Gone Wrong’ darkens things with a lament questioning all the things that are going wrong in the world.

This record isn’t bad at all, the drum sound could have done with a bit more brightness and the vocal could have been a less tinny, but recording techniques aside, Motel Magazine is a pleasant collection of short rock and roll songs with some accomplished solos. The tracks could be divided between the more purist rock and roll numbers and the slightly more intriguing style that doesn’t feature quite as much but nevertheless has more of a stamp of individuality. A few more tracks like ‘Tell Me’ would certainly be welcome.

Written by Smith on

Stuart 'Saur' Smith was a prolific writer for The Mag throughout the magazine's lifetime. He combined a day job of temporary office jobs in London with a nightlife of trawling the capital's music venues looking for talent. As well as writing about music, he was a session musician who featured on a number of singles in the 90s. Today, Stuart is a Chief Writer for Phonotonal.
Stuart Smith

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