El Camino Acid: Sunset Motel [Album Review]

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El Camino Acid
Sunset Motel
Self-Released [2022]

When I hear the name Conor Stratton I think about a couple of things, Yellow Springs’ Spring Fest and Crooked Spines. Now, I can add one more name to that list, El Camino Acid. Composed of members from Caamp, Blond, Crooked Spines, and Smizmar, El Camino Acid returns with their follow up to 2020s’ Stay Mine with Sunset Motel

Sunset Motel has the group partnering up with Colin Croom (Twin Peaks) to not only play on the album but to produce as well. What follows is a catchy bunch of garage power pop that draws from many influences. Stand out,  “Chang The Banker,” goes fast and furious as Motel Beds influences careen into Jack White inspired fuzz fills. “Somebody Like You” takes a simplistic Richard Edwards approach with a Dylan based organ that adds a cozy familiarity. “Why So Sad” takes a page from the Mudcrutch/Petty play book with big crunchy chords and complementary lead that adds real flare. “Can’t Afford To Be Like This” goes back to Beds references with the feel of a Sunfried Dreams b-side. “Don’t Wanna Lose You” surrenders the record to its’ end with a slowed down nod to power-pop’s very own Cheap Trick. 

To describe El Camino Acid is to borrow a phrase from the band Me and Mountains – “Smooth American beer rock.” Sunset Motel is a crushable album with many fun, little head bobbers. So, if you like to party with some light surf, garage, and pop then Sunset Motel is the record for you!

Key Tracks: “Chang The Banker” / “Why So Shy” / “Don’t Wanna Lose You”

Artists With Similar Fire: Motel Beds / Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers / Cheap Trick

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Christopher Tahy
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