Straight out of Hollywood, Hard Rock outfit Hotel Diablo is hot off of a high profile performance at the House of Blues Sunset Strip and some impressive air play on LA rock radio. All of this buzz is no doubt fueled by the release of their debut album on Scarlet Records: The Return to Psycho, California.
The Return to Psycho, California opens with “taken” where catchy hooks and a raunchy rhythm are synced with dark vocals to set the tone for the album: Rock & Roll. For the album’s next track “All These Years” a stellar guitar lead draws the listener in and continues to drive the song through its emotional chorus while complimenting the almost “ghostly” vocals of singer Rick Stich. “What You Do To Me” chimes in next: a pure rock ballad executed in a manner reminiscent of “ballad master bands” like Slaughter. The album’s next track “Psycho California” speeds it up with a thrashing riff and an urgent vocal delivery of in-your-face lyrics; a short and sweet solo compliments the respective pace of the song. The distortion is cut for a slow and more intimate intro on the album’s 5th track “Bury You” [a personal favorite] a track that features a more emotional cry-your-heart-out chorus and a grandiose delivery suited perfectly for mainstream rock radio. The albums next track “Set It Off” is a perfect showcase of the band’s musical personality disorder: they’re down & dirty rockers with an emotional side that cannot be contained; see Guns & Roses for similar comparison. “Wicked Lines” continues the album’s musical concept before its next track “Wonderwall” a risky cover of the beloved Oasis hit, puts Hotel Diablo to the test. The cover is performed with care and respect as the more raspy rock attitude of the band shines the track in a unique light.
The album comes to a close with “Trigger” an appropriately aggressive and upbeat ending to this sojourn of Rock. The Return to Psycho, California is a fresh breath of Rock & Roll that will not disappoint and should not be overlooked; you can grab your copy on Amazon today.
Review by Matt Crane – HHM