In one of their annual Pazz & Jop (as opposed to Jazz & Pop) Critics' Polls, the Village Voice wrote that "retro is always a suspect direction in pop music." There is a lot of truth in that statement; if you expect your kids to like the very same music that you liked 20 or 30 years ago, you might get your wish -- but more than likely, you're going to be in for a major disappointment. However, there is also bound to be a minority of younger musicians who reject the trends of their generation and identify with the styles of an older generation. Formed in 1995, Moses Guest consists of musicians who are right in the punk-influenced Nirvana/Oasis/Alanis Morissette/No Doubt/Soundgarden demographic, but none of those alternative rock tastemakers can be cited as influences on this 2004 release. Guest Motel finds Moses Guest continuing to be a '90s/2000s jam band with a sound that unapologetically recalls the '60s and '70s, and the country-fried influences that have served them well in the past -- the Grateful Dead, the New Riders of the Purple Sage, the Allman Brothers, Little Feat, the Band, among others -- are still serving them well on this CD. Like many other jam bands, Moses Guest has meandered at times; in the jam band field, it isn't uncommon for artists to take ten minutes to say something they could have said in five. But Moses Guest doesn't do a lot of meandering on Guest Motel, which is one of the Texans' tighter, more focused, and consistent efforts. Guest Motel maintains the congenial, laid-back, unhurried, hippie-minded ambience that one expects from Moses Guest; even so, the band has a way of cutting out the fat on this likable, if derivative, outing.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson