The Alcazar Hotel's Suicide King/ Stupid Feeling 7" | Record Review | Indy Week
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The Alcazar Hotel's Suicide King/ Stupid Feeling 7" 

(Grip Tapes)

Since moving to Chapel Hill in 2008 following a run playing piano, guitar and sax for the second incarnation of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, William Dawson has settled down. Or, at least, as much as he can: Dawson, a lifelong vagabond, drifted around Mississippi and Tennessee between a busking stint in Amsterdam, drumming in juke joints and helping engineer recordings by The Hives and Elvis Costello. Now he teaches music at a local elementary school and plays in Katherine Whalen's Lucky and alongside pals like Justin Robinson of the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Then there's Dawson's own deranged garage blues outfit, The Alcazar Hotel, named after the run-down Clarksdale inn where the band began. While last year's laudable LP kept one foot firmly planted in Mississippi, Alcazar's latest—a 7" released by the fledgling Chapel Hill imprint Grip Tapes—storms into the Motor City. Both of the two-minute bursts are possessed by the manic proto-punk intensity of Detroit's legendary MC5, with Dawson's shredded-larynx shouts bleeding into the red over searing guitar leads and growling two-string bass.

Between barroom piano and a melodic bass chug, Dawson cleverly builds the story of "Suicide King" around playing-card allusions: Along with the king, the queen of hearts and jack of spades have roles in his self-destructive house of cards. In "Stupid Feeling," Dawson recounts the impulsive missteps of his youth above a propulsive disco beat and rubbery bass groove and wonders if the days of losing his head are over: "When you get old, do you start to figure it out?" he asks in the chorus, before worrying that the "stupid feeling" is creeping back.

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Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

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Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Remember that time the "journalist" took to the comments section to fire off a snarky response when called out on …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure that if the press release we received had mentioned Chris Grubbs, the article would have reflected that crucial …

by David Klein on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure John Meier hasn't been in this band for quite some time and Chris Grubbs wrote and recorded this …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

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