Welcome to Savoy Motel. The debut album by this Nashville four-piece comes from a pedigree of garage, punk, and power-pop groups (bassist Jeffrey Novak founded both Cheap Time and the Rat Traps; drummer Jessica McFarland was also in Cheap Time, and along with guitarists Dillon Watson and Mimi Galbierz, played in Heavy Cream). Savoy Motel transposes the energy and hooks of those groups to an entirely different move: an intensely orchestrated hybrid of glam rock, soul, dance music, and showmanship. “We use rock and roll as a vehicle to reach and promote the feeling of TOTAL FREEDOM,” claims Dillon. “Savoy Motel is defined more by a feeling than a sound.”
Savoy Motel achieves a compositional harmony through the meshing of the clockwork precision in the rhythms of each song, with Jessica hammering out the beats alongside a vintage Rhythm King drum machine, and Mimi locking in on guitar, alongside the interplay of three lead vocalists, while Dillon rips intense fuzz leads on every track, and Jeffrey adds the hooks on his bass. Dillon remarks: “After Jeffrey repeatedly insisted that I play more and more like Jimi and Clapton, I realized that he wanted the shit to rock, and that he was not only unafraid of, but actually going for what a lot of contemporaries would consider faux pas. I think we were all ready for something radical and new, and Jeffrey was ready to lead us there.”
The whole package opens up their horizons, and yours, to a sound made by four friends tired of witnessing music eat its own tail; with unclouded judgment, creative refinements, and peerless technique, they grab that tail and stick it into a wall socket, putting the cap back on 15+ years of rock revivalism and strident genre adherence. And they make it seem easy. If it was that easy, though, everybody else would be doing it. Look around you. That’s not happening. Savoy Motel is happening. “Whatever musical past we had feels obsolete compared to what we’re doing now,” says Jeffrey. “The past turned its back on us, so we had to turn our backs on the past in order to find our future.”
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