Coming in hot from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is powerhouse five-piece alternative rock band, The American Hotel System, with their latest thrilling record, ‘Where My Soul Has Been.’
We've had the pleasure of learning the ins and outs of Grand Rapids band The American Hotel System, who never shies away from unleashing their sound that spins classic elements of traditional rock n' roll. Their live sound is larger than life, and listeners can experience that within the band's punchy 11-track album, ‘Where My Soul Has Been.’
The album kicks into gear with the introductory and title track, "The Feeling," which opens with a dreamy yet mysterious introduction that quickly ramps up the alternative rock energy. As we blast full throttle into the track, lead vocalist Jacob Betts takes us on an epic journey of reflecting on the past and yearning to reach those feelings we experienced when times were good. There's so much meaning in this track, and we can't wait to experience the entire record that touches on "The Feeling" we want to relive once more.
Track two, "Alt Game," wastes no time and quickly jumps into a lively and fiery alternative rock anthem with quick instrumentals and Betts's charismatic performance. Mind you, this track is only 40 seconds long, but it packs a heavy punch that leads into the third track without a dull moment in sight.
The album's third track, "Breakdown," picks up where "Alt Game" left off, with a mighty rhythm guitar leading the way alongside a wailing lead guitar and the thickest alternative rock instrumentals. As the drums continue driving the energy forward, we hear sonic and vocal similarities to Nirvana's "In Bloom," while Betts leads us to the cathartic hook. This song feels like a reflective anthem that sings of navigating through life's chaos and not knowing where to start, something we can all relate to.
Reaching the fourth track, "Chains," The American Hotel System turns the energy down a notch as a warm lead guitar strums its way through our speakers alongside Betts' gentle and warm vocals. While singing of wondering if he'll fall or fly, The American Hotel System leads us into a soothing instrumental while Betts clarifies that getting your way through the weight of the world just takes a little faith, hope, and determination.
Jumping into the smooth and country-esque fifth track, "Deaf Ears," The American Hotel System offers a sweet country edge with a tender violin arrangement alongside their toe-tapping sounds. As Betts vocalizes why we try to get our voices heard when no one's listening, he reminds us that some people just lack the understanding to listen and help induce change. This song is truly touching, and it's the perfect mid-way pick-me-up.
Reaching the album's mid-way point with "Nothing Is New," The American Hotel System opens this song on another gentle note with warm electric guitar strums and Betts vocals that sing of life's repetitive cycles during such an odd time. This chilling track is a soulful and heartfelt alternative rock lullaby, and we couldn't have asked for a more honest song to help move us forward on our personal journeys.
A similar electric guitar melody as the track prior melts through our speakers on "Fire," where Betts meets our speakers with the utmost heart, soul, and emotion. We love the addition of the bright background violin that adds heaps of emotion on top of The American Hotel System's cathartic performance. This sweet tune packs so many authentic and genuine feelings while Betts belts his vocals and asks for some sort of pain relief from burning in life's fires.
Onto the eighth track, "21st," The American Hotel System slowly and peacefully opens this tune with plucky electric guitar melodies and soft background pads. Listening to Betts' familiar and tender vocals, he sings of the 21st century's turmoil and the loneliness, fake love, and negative experiences it's brought. There's so much emotional relief in this song, and we're sure listeners will adore this cathartic ode to living in such a hectic time to be alive.
Hopping into track number nine, "Lori's Song," we're met with a vibrant electric guitar melody that sets the downtempo, reflective yet passionate tone. As Betts begins serenading us, he touches on someone special who got heartbroken by someone else. This song packs a ton of emotion, something we expect from any The American Hotel System tune. As they ramp up the energy and drive, they close the song with the brightest and heaviest instrumentals that sonically express pain and strife.
Onto another familiar track, "Loyalty," we've had the chance to feature this upbeat tune prior to the album's drop. It's an exhilarating alternative rock tune that sings of uplifting your neighbor in these chaotic modern times. Betts's lively vocals paired with The American Hotel System's thrilling instrumentals make for one punchy listening experience. After an array of emotional tracks, this one pumps through our speakers to pick up the energy once more.
Landing on the album's eleventh and final track, "Talk, Inc," The American Hotel System gets the energy flowing with tight drum breaks, bright electric guitars, and a dense bass line. As they creep towards the song's first verse, Betts takes the song by storm and blasts us with vocals that depict that hatred for others telling him what to do, when to change, and what he's doing wrong. This punchy and anthemic track leaves the listener empowered and closes the album with an explosive bang.
Experience the pain, pleasure, and ferocity of The American Hotel System's latest 11-track album, ‘Where My Soul Has Been,’ now available on all digital streaming platforms.