Happy New Year all…Again, thought it would be fun to share my original 2005 review (from my Evergreen State College school paper, The Cooper Point Journal) of the band’s self titled 2nd album (that we all affectionately call The Green Album). – Finger
Following on the heels of their engaging debut album, Joy Motel, The Staton-House Band delivers a solid follow-up and avoids the dreaded sophomore slump.
The creative success of Joy Motel, released a little over a year ago, rested heavily on the evidence of tasteful and proficient approaches toward a myriad of styles ranging from alt-country to progressive rock. The newest release continues the same diverse format where it should display a particular musical image to set it off from the scads of other bands fighting for recognition.
Lead singer Tom Staton and guitarist Christopher House (think early Daltrey/Townshend for a similar songwriting and relationship vibe) wisely steer their band away from being a bass-oriented one. “Song For The Forgotten” and “Netherland” are a great one-two punch to open the album. The album hits a lull in the middle as “Rebound,” “Mist of Pain” and “Spamming My Girl” never really connect.
The arrangements are full and the instrumentation potent…The band’s keyboard player (Kelton Sakai) reveals his deep love for “Layla” by including a direct cop in “Out on Love,” but the song still works. The album closes on a high with “Out on Love” and “With My Own Eyes” both penned by emerging songwriter Chris House.
While the band’s second album never hits the heights of Joy Motel, it’s a worthy successor and shows promise for future releases.
Do try to catch this band live. Many of their songs gain a certain level of richness without the running time constraints