I'm all up for surprises, there are too few of them and Motel La Grange caught me by surprise. It's a wonderfully constructed mainstream album and that caught me unawares. I'd suspected quite a bit of yee haw and what I got was a splendid album that resides more in Classic Rock territory.
Why surprised? Well usually as soon as I see a cowboy hat and a guitar, I run for the hills, hoping to avoid cliche after cliche of good ole boy lost love. Well I should shed my preconceptions, as I'm delighted to tell you that this is a cracking 38 minutes.I was sad when it ended and on it went again.
Yes there are country tinges, but these aren't many and are more than compensated by the rocking and ace song arrangements. Indeed the opener, No More, is a fantastic thing. It resides in some place between Springsteen and Del Amitri, it's a corker of a song.
The National Reserve are from New York, although you'd think that the five piece are more acquainted with Southern California or Nashville. Motel La Grange is a very American album, a real nod to the 70's. It's also a fine testament to the leadership of Sean Walsh. Great songwriting, a commanding vocal and some fine Guitar rock outs.
Although there are hints at times of a rocked up Eagles or a fleshed out Hootie And The Blowfish, the whole album stands firmly on the quality of the playing and some great Organ breaks. New Love smacks of The Outlaws, in fact there's a lot here that compares to that band without the excess.
I should open a closed mind a bit more. This album is a great listen, something that makes me wish I'd discovered it a little earlier. I can't wait for the follow up. You can find listen to and buy the album here. You can find out more about The National Reserve here.