CD Review – Empress Hotel
Park the Van Records
The debut EP from Empress Hotel harkens back to the 70s groups like Ace and The Dwight Twilley Band. Complete with Casio keyboards, the occasional female vocal (by keyboardist Julie Williams) and a dose of cajun, this New Orleans-based group introduces the world to a decent, but not spectacular sound that is perfect for those that love artists like The Byrds and even Bill Withers. Empress Hotel isn’t that good, but they have only released five songs. I don’t expect that much. “Search Lights” sounds like something that Withers would have recorded back in the day while “Empress Hotel” (yes, the album, group and song are all the same) is rather forgettable. They are a bit uneven, but once the edges are smoothed out, they will be vying for “The Best Band to be Teleported Straight from the 70s” award with current title-holder The Mooney Suzuki.