What can I say about this album? It isn’t new. It is neither refreshing nor surprising. It isn’t mind-blowing, face-melting, genre-bending or other cliches.
It is simply commercial-grade, homogenized pop rock; white guys performing vanilla rock on coral beaches. The mood is as sensitive as a chin after shaving and twice as interesting. My prediction is that it will be wildly popular in a year or two.
The members of Painkiller Hotel travel a well-worn road with “Black Roses.” The Goo Goo Dolls live along this road, as well as Three Doors Down. Matchbox Twenty owned a cottage on the road, but they sold it to Lifehouse. They haven’t yet told Lifehouse that Rob Thomas died in the bathtub after Carlos Santana stopped calling, but I digress.
Obviously, this particular genre is saturated, but if the industry continues its current 100-year skid, it will make plenty of room for Painkiller Hotel. And why not? Painkiller Hotel has melodies to trump any of the aforementioned bands. Each song has the warmth and familiarity of a security blanket, and the polished lyrics are the delicate cloth from which it is sewn.
Just because this album is not for me does not mean that the album is not without an audience. I am a cantankerous music journalist, cynical by nature and still angry at the Establishment for bringing back the 80s (oh, I haven’t forgotten, and we’ll settle that score another day), so my opinion is worth a bucket of piss and a truck stop sandwich.
If you are the type of person who travels to an unfamiliar city and eats at the chain restaurant, this album might be for you. If you prefer your rock music served the same each time, no matter how far you stray from home, this album might be for you. If you long for the comfort of a melodic hook balanced on a steady, unwavering rhythm, give this album a listen. If pained but hopeful vocals are the shoulder strap on your seat belt, this album is yours.
Check out tracks from “Black Roses” at http://www.myspace.com/painkillerhotel..