The 1980’s – big money, big personalities, and even bigger hairstyles, a decade of cultural flamboyance, unbridled consumerism and economic prosperity. Hotel Lux sure as heck weren’t born in the ’80s, but these London-based newcomers can’t help but epitomise the true (and often unpleasant) spirit of these ‘golden’ years – their take on it all remembers the brutality, the austerity, the social and indeed political strife that would encounter the working-class everyday Joe on an almost daily basis.
Migrating to the capital from nearby Portsmouth about a year ago, Hotel Lux’s own take on swampy, keyboard-riddled garage punk is not only contemptibly bleak, but damningly honest, disguising a predisposition toward intelligent and quick-witted songwriting. The young five-piece’s debut single ‘Envoi’, released earlier this year as part of RIP Records ‘Introduces’ series is two parts feral and deprived rockabilly punk a la The Cramps, and equal parts vitriolic social commentary, fulfilled with horror-show organ synths and ill-tempered, hip-shaking attitude. The song’s accompanying video feels just as hauntingly relevant, amassed of grainy, grey footage of ’80’s riot police, picketing and urban poverty.
The group’s latest track, entitled ‘The Last Hangman’ acts as a personal ode to Albert Pierrepoint, inaccurately referred to as Britain’s (no surprises here), last public executioner, responsible for seeing off more than 400 people during his grimly macabre 24-year career. It’s Albert’s “dubious morality” and “eventual guilt-ridden demise” that underpins the song’s gruesome songwriting, singer Lewis Duffin delivering this blackened narrative with an unyieldingly harsh English bite.
‘The Last Hangman’ is set to feature on the band’s debut 7″, released on November 17 through Too Old For This Records. On the same day, the group will play their first headline show at The George Tavern, London. Tickets here. Listen to the ‘The Last Hangman’ below:
Words by Joe Bulger
Featured image courtesy of Rhi Harper for Loud and Quiet (@rhiharper, ig: rhiharper)