Although they've been making sugary sweet indie rock for well over a decade now, Dayton, Ohio garage revivalists Motel Beds have somehow managed to remain one of music's best-kept secrets. After quietly putting out five full-lengths and a handful of EPs over the past five years, the increasingly prolific band returns with These Are the Days Gone By, a compilation that offers listeners something of a survey course in the band's sunny, good-vibes rock & roll. With songs going all the way back to their 2004 debut, as well as some unreleased material and alternate versions, the collection covers the entirety of the band's quiet tenure in the Dayton music scene. And thanks to a combination of a solid remastering job and the band's remarkably consistent songwriting, These Are the Days Gone By feels more like a proper album than a compilation. Even though they were released seven years apart, the breezy "Skymade Suit," from 2004's Hasta Mañana EP, and the fuzzy warmth of "Tropics of the Sand," from their 2011 album Tango Blues -- and featuring guest vocals fellow Dayton resident Kelley Deal -- feel as though they could've come from the same album. Now that Motel Beds seem to be back in full swing again, These Are the Days Gone By feels like the perfect way to jump into their sprawling discography, and new fans couldn't ask for a better-sounding or more thoughtfully compiled portal to the world of everlasting summer that the Beds have created for themselves.
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AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney