Universal Music [Release date 30.04.21]
One Thousand Motels is a bit of a punk supergroup if you will, consisting of the Damned drummer Rat Scabies, and bassist/multi-instrumentalist Chris Constantinou, who has worked with Adam Ant, Sinead O’Connor, Bow Wow Wow et al. They had both previously worked together in the Mutants, who featured members drawn from various punk bands.
One Thousand Motels released their debut album, ‘2% Out Of Sync’, to rave reviews last year. Now on album number two they are joined by vocalist Sean Wheeler (Josh Homme, Robby Krieger), former Dire Straits guitarist Hal Lindes, Marc Franklin and Arthur Edmaiston from the Memphis Horns, the First Street Choir, percussionist Preston Heyman (Kate Bush, Massive Attack, Terence Trent D’Arby), harmonica player Steve “West” Weston (Roger Daltrey, Wilko Johnson), and the Specials’ horns/pianist Diz Watson.
This album has it all really, from the prison blues/gospel of ‘Spirit Flies Free’ through to the Primal Scream sounding ‘Never Forget’. Nice bit of blues piano on ‘Let Me Know’, again the distinctive gravelly vocals add to the song. The guitar solo is pretty damn fine too.
The earthy tones of Sean Wheeler can take a few spins to get used to, but he really helps lift a song like ‘Temptation’. That song swings like a good ‘un with the added horns.
Old punks never fade away, they just find new musical ways to express themselves. One Thousand Motels is great fun and I defy anyone not to be uplifted by the choral backed songs like ‘Zion’. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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