1979's self-titled debut release from the California band the Motels comes across as what a less pretentious Doors might have sounded like had they emerged during the new wave era. The Motels is a fairly cold, almost robotic affair which trades in lyrics that explore the darker side of life in Los Angeles. There are a few tracks that bear repeated listens like the frantic "Kix" and "Celia," a warning to a woman involved with the wrong guy. "Total Control," a big hit for the band in Australia and later covered by Tina Turner, is the album's standout with its menacing lyrics of possession delivered by Martha Davis. She is the one consistently redeeming attraction of this dated record. Although she tends to over-sing at times, Davis is a riveting and sensual vocalist and her vocals hint at the potential in the band.
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AllMusic Review by Tom Demalon