“s/t” (self-released)

Fellow Philadelphians and buddies Thinking Machines used to make spacey guitar music when they first started out, before they went full-on post punk (a nice move for them, in my opinion). The Hollywood Bistro sort of sounds like what a Thinking Machines demo would have sounded like all those years ago if Cody was trying to figure out synths and keyboards instead of singing and rhythm guitar, and Marcus was still (and always) shredding totally over the top of all that. (Sean on drums was always solid.) The Hollywood Bistro want to hit the interstellar freeways and shoot into new and uncharted realms of the universe, but in a totally poppy way that also recalls this one other band – I can’t think of their name, but I saw them open up for Editors once. (I hate Editors.) Or maybe Washed Out but without vocals and with more overblown guitars. Or a perpetually stoned I Am Spoonbender. It’s kind of messy, but if this is the opening statement by the Hollywood Bistro, then there may be more excellent stuff to come.

The Hollywood Bistro

--Ryan Masteller