When we last heard from Luleå, Sweden’s Park Hotell they had just released their Guest Who Stayed Forever ep. On that outing they were using synthesizers and sequencers. That was over a year ago, and it seems in the interim the band have gone totally organic, emphatically stating that their new album contains no artificial ingredients as in synthesizers and drum machines. They’re about to release their first album on Ultra Radio Records. It’s produced by Jari Haapalain who, when he’s not playing guitar for the Bear Quartet, produces albums by the likes of the Concretes (S/T first album) and Ed Harcourt (Strangers) and Camera Obscura (Let’s Get Out of this Country). Haapalain not only is twiddling knobs for Park Hotell, but he’s also plays drums on the record in lieu of a drum machine.
Whenever I hear Park Hotell I can’t help but be reminded of the under appreciated Close Lobsters, and Dead Ringers, the first song they’ve released from the new record is no exception. The song starts off with singular pounding drums that quickly builds into a ringing anthem. The soaring vocals and sharply jangling guitars are nicely topped off with backing vocals from Taxi Taxi! twins Johanna and Miriam. You think that the dizzying chorus is going to be the best part of the song, but just before the end the manic jangle of guitars turns into a Big Country type e-bowed guitar solo that will have you reaching for the repeat button, like I have done so many times with this song. Bring on the album!