Cotton Mather

Hotel Baltimore

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This EP plays like a series of outtakes and rarities, the kind of collection that is almost always hit or miss. There are good songs on Hotel Baltimore, but after the consistently outstanding pop/rock certainty of Kontiki, Cotton Mather's follow-up EP feels half finished. The EP is performed by the touring band; besides singer Robert Harrison (vocals, guitar) and Whit Williams (guitar, vocals), there's Josh Gravelin (bass) and Dana Mizer (drums). Williams and Mizer also supported Harrison on Kontiki. "Lost My Motto" isn't a big departure from the original (Cotton Is King, 1994), "Altar Boy (Jimbo's Theme)" could have been included on Kontiki, "Missing the Boat" is a straight-ahead rocker, and "John Wayne Jung" an instrumental. The EP can be a tricky enterprise, often too short to reach full bloom or, in most cases, too long to support the one or two good songs sandwiched between all the B-sides and filler. Hotel Baltimore plays a little long, and for anyone unfamiliar with Cotton Mather, Kontiki is definitely the best place to start.

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