Five albums that shaped OK Hotel’s sound
15.09.2020

Five albums that shaped OK Hotel’s sound

OK Hotel have just dropped their addictive new indie-rock single 'Life Is Crazy (Like That)'

With their debut single ‘Swim’ earning immediate praise on triple j, Wollongong trio OK Hotel have swiftly made a name for themselves as proponents of beltable, heart-on-your-sleeve alternative rock.

With nods to fuzz-fuelled 90’s bands like Smashing Pumpkins, the band and their limitless energy return with their second single of 2020, ‘Life is Crazy (Like That)’. Blending an all-out wall of fuzzy guitars with genuine lyrics ripe to raise your beer to, the track validates the explosive presence of the band, placing their skills for hook-driven choruses and instantly engaging melodies front and centre.

“Everything I wanted to say came out in the ‘life is crazy like that’ chorus line,” the band said. “It was one of those rare occasions where the chorus wrote itself, with not much more than a single phrase. It was the very first thing I said on a voice memo and it stuck.

“Growing up we get worn down by things we love, and not knowing where to start mapping boundaries can be tough. The songs about unhealthy friendships and questioning what it is that keeps people together in the first place.”

To celebrate the release, OK Hotel have shared the top five albums that have shaped their well-loved alt-rock sound.

Horror My Friend – Stay In, Do Nothing (2016)
Every note on this album is going somewhere important. That’s an urgency we’re still trying to figure out in our own music. The halfway between lo and hi fi production is very cool and it wears influences on its sleeve in the right way. A lot of the effect pedal choices we’ve made on guitars with fuzz was from this album. ‘PB Remains’ is such a great album closer too.

Top tracks: ‘Death Hill’, ‘Pb Remains’, ‘Mazes’, ‘Stay In’

Violent Soho – Self Titled (2010)
This was our rite of passage when we were 15. It’s unusually clean for a punk rock album but hearing everything so crystal-clear suits this one. Mutual admiration for the song writing really brought us together in high school. Maybe one day we’ll whip out the cover of ‘Son of Sam’ or ‘Jesus Stole My Girlfriend’ we used to play.

Top tracks: ‘Jesus Stole My Girlfriend’, ‘Muscle Junkie’, ‘Here Be Dragons’

The Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (1993)
Corgan’s cymbal eating wall of guitar tone on Siamese Dream makes it an instant Pumpkins’ classic album for us. Putting this on in the car before recording hypes everyone perfectly. The contrast between the faster and the more melodic songs makes it such a back and forth journey that’s fun to listen from start to finish. I remember us being 18 and sitting in a Mazda 323 with sub speakers on the way to Sydney listening to the quiet part in silver fuck really, really loud waiting for it to kick back in. It just always inspired us to make guitar music.

Top tracks: ‘Mayonaise’, ‘Quiet’, ‘Spaceboy’, ‘Today’, ‘Geek U.S.A’

Yuck – Self Titled (2011)
This is another band we grew up covering. Everything on the album sounds like it was made 30 years ago. The opening track, ‘Get Away’ immediately sets a hectic pace for the first half of the album before it meanders in and out of melodic glowing slow core guitar ballads like, ‘Rose Gives A Lilly’. This is staple for us because it’s shown us not to be scared of the more vulnerable parts in our music and not making things louder to shine through.

Top tracks: ‘The Wall’, ‘Rubber’, ‘Shook Down’, ‘Get Away’

Duster – Stratosphere (1998)
Listening to duster for the first time and recognising the influence stratosphere must have inadvertently had on our music through other influences was strange. As the saying goes; ‘Duster is your favourite indie band’s favourite band’. It makes a lot of sense. They effortlessly nail some interesting recording choices and it just feels right. On every listen a song or two will feel brand new. The guitar playing on this album has influenced our own a lot.

Top tracks: ‘Inside Out’, ‘Gold Dust’, ‘Heading For The Door’, ‘Echo, Bravo’, ‘Constellations’