Under the “Sounds Like” section on their MySpace, Hotels has responded with “A song you can listen to just before you die.” While the ten tracks that appear on the bi-coastal rockers’ latest may not make everyone’s shortlist of ideal swan songs, the group proves quite skilled at crafting tunes that allow a full range of human drama and experience. With angular guitars, sober vocals, omnipresent synths, and a taste for the cinematic, Hotels come off like the ultimate ’80s soundtrack band, something akin to a cross between the dreamy haze of M83 and the angsty garage rock of The Strokes.
Highlights include the celestial, dance-worthy “Leilani”, “Port of Saints”, which marries synth swells, vigorous percussion and Interpol-esque riffs and “Café Martinique”, a tune whose outro is glorious enough to win over even the most cynical of listeners. Perhaps the album’s most enjoyable and accessible tune is “Kite Fight” with an infectious (yet kind of subversive) melody, bright bass and keyboard sounds and catchy handclaps. Where Hearts Go Broke is an exciting, emotional record that showcases a band confident in their ability to express themselves.