Hotel St. George
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Hotel St. George


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Hundreds & Thousands"

All in all, I’d have to say it was a pretty good night.

My buddy and I had just seen the Cavs grind out a victory against Philly in what was their 11th straight win, tying a franchise record. Ben Wallace wigs still on our heads, we got in my car, tucked way in the back of the Tower City Center Parking garage. Needless to say, we’d be waiting awhile.

After literally moving only inches in the first five minutes and being snubbed by a man with a porn-stache in a minivan, I decided I might as well get comfortable. Earlier that day, I’d received a disc in the mail by a still-unsigned quartet from San Diego. I proceeded to furiously rip away its clear plastic prison and threw it in the player.

I first heard Hotel St. George earlier this summer. I distinctly remember getting the Yippee!!! EP and listening to it in my car after recording a podcast for this website at Saw*Kick headquarters. Pleasantly surprised, I didn’t only hear a catchy bundle of songs; I heard potential.

And so, back to the scene a couple weeks ago after the game.

Knowing full and well that my buddy is an avid metal fan — I’m not talking about some trendster, but someone who listens to Mastodon, Opeth, Necrophobic and stuff that genuinely scares the shit out of me — I nevertheless decided to test out this new, seven-track EP, Hundreds & Thousands, entirely ready to defend against an almost-certain brutal onslaught. The Prince of Darkness himself would smile ear-to-ear at the filth about to be spewed all over the inside of my Civic. It never came.

I think that’s because while Hotel St. George is definitely a pop-rock act with a punk drive and energy, there’s something about it that slightly transcends genre. Is the result the reinvention of rock ‘n’ roll? No, it’s just damn fun. With each song comes distinction; more importantly, with each song comes new surprises.

Would it be a stretch to say a group sounding nothing like the Jesus and Mary Chain maybe draws some inspiration from the Scottish brothers? “I Was Only Sleeping” and “New Friend” seem to structurally follow the ’80s indie icons’ keen ability to take a three-to-four minute song in a completely anomalous, always-catchier-than-the-rest-of-the-composition direction — like a pseudo mini-movement. As soon as you hear it, you have to crank it up.

In my earlier review of the other 2008 EP, I said it’d be nice to see what this band could do with more studio attention. Tracks such as the opener, “Nothing Here For You to See” and “Better Than This” begin to tackle the issue: clean, booming production, faster, tighter instrumentation and clear, driving bass riffs that guide the music much in the way Mike Dirnt did (does) with Green Day.

But even with a punchier sound, I can’t help but think there was a slight trade off of creativity and uniqueness for accessibility and familiarity. Nevertheless, the end result is worth it as the band continues to find itself.

Later as I was driving, finally free from the herd in the parking lot, my friend said, “It’s not pretentious,” almost as if he were expecting it to be. It’s not pretentious. Sure, that’s kind of vague — like saying, “Cavs win!” Either way, it has a nice ring to it. - Saw*Kick Media


Question: Is it possible for French pop, big beat and thrash to coexist within one band?

Answer: Yes! At least according to Hotel St. George’s MySpace page.

Of course in reality, we all know thrash would swallow (without having to chew, I might add) the other two genres whole. One would willingly and most masochistically surrender, while the other might put up a fight, stalling the inevitable.

So in the end, that really only leaves thrash, which these San Diego rockers most certainly are not. Maybe the casual MySpace user will get the joke, be intrigued and then pleasantly surprised when they discover a well-balanced blend of British-invasion-meets-British-punk. Or, maybe they’ll think, in this exact format, “WTF?” and move on. Ah, the timeless art of self-marketing.

On its debut EP, Yippee!!!, Hotel St. George offer the best a listener can expect from a still-unsigned act: clean production, distinguished vocals and above all, good catchy hooks that will drag you back to the tracks whether you like it or not. (Hopefully, you like it.)

I’ve always found it more difficult to listen to local musicians because all the while I’m thinking, “Would I buy or dig this group if they were signed?” It’s a tough standard, but with all the DIY MySpace groups out there, it’s warranted.

Does this quartet pass the test? The first three out of the five songs—well, six if you count the unlisted acoustic “Beautiful Girl”—are definitely a sign of good things to come. The handclaps on “It’s the Blues,” the hints of ska on “Waiting On a Miracle Ain’t Like Waiting On a Train,” the “yeah yeah yeahs” on the explosive opener … it’s all very familiar, but at the same time, so wonderfully executed that it’d be nice to see what could be accomplished if allotted more studio attention.

It’s obvious after listening to the little recording, these guys know what they’re doing. For the most part, the performance is tight, and they probably deliver a pretty mean live show. Fifteen years ago, they’d have fit nicely on a label like Lookout! Records, but bands like Hotel St. George have more potential now than ever to sign to a major. Yippee for them and us if they do. - Saw*Kick Media

"Demo Review 2008"

Hotel St. George is the most rocking French-pop/big-beat/thrash band I’ve ever heard and, let me tell you, I’ve heard a ton of those bands. Featuring Vinyl Radio ex-vocalist Matt B, Hotel St. George is less the garage-blues rock of that outfit and more a streamlined FM-radio juggernaut. “Swirling Thoughts” is especially impressive. MS/hotelstgeorge
—Dryw Keltz - San Diego CityBeat

"The Young and the Restless"

If Hotel St. George's Matt Binder, Simon Leader, Brian Reilly and Erik Visnyak were your neighbors, they'd be the sort with whom you share lawn furniture, an inflatable kiddy pool, a secondhand crochet set and a charcoal grill upon which you barbecue together nearly every weekend. And you would never mind the fact that your bedroom window faces their garage, where Binder and Reilly shoot snotty lyrics out of their noses or Visnyak's buzz bomb bass and Leader's slam-wham-slam drumming set off car alarms at all hours because it sounds like the Police, the Kinks, early Beatles, Bowie and maybe, just maybe, a sliver of the Beach Boys (in a good, “Pet Sounds” way) riding a tinfoil roller-coaster into the sunset.

“I would use the word 'simple,' in a good way, obviously,” Simon says. “It's rock 'n' roll music played both loud and fast, with the emphasis on both.” Not to mention that the four deliver it with a presence for which Fred Perry, Vespa, A.P.C., Apple, American Apparel and about 20 fistfuls of other cliché nouveau youth brands would no doubt pay to have their names involved.

June brought “Yippee!!!,” the band's debut EP, which is also up for best alternative album. Its follow-up, tentatively titled “Hundreds & Thousands,” is etched for release in October.

– DERRIK CHINN - The San Diego Union-Tribune

"Hometown Review"

The local-band amoeba splits and reforms again, this time with former members of Vinyl Radio and A Week’s Worth. Singer Matt Binder and bassist Erik Visnyak founded Hotel St. George last fall, and the band has since shared the main stage with the solid local boys in Writer as well as perennial threats to national breakout, Louis XIV.

Hotel St. George combines punch-in-the-gut garage-rock guitar work with fierce glam vocals — simple and tasty. In the horse race to see which indie act signs a contract first (…the Frantic Romantic on the inside, around the corner comes the Modlins, and down the straightaway trots Roxy Jones…), Matt Binder’s Bowie-esque voice might put Hotel St. George out in front by a nose. - San Diego Reader

"As I Hear It"

Artist: Hotel St. George
Song: “I Was Only Sleeping” (from the CD Hundreds & Thousands)
Heard By: Linda Mata, South Bay
Audio Clip

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Hotel St. George: "I Was Only Sleeping"

I actually liked it. I don’t really like alternative rock, but I liked the beat. It made you feel like going fast through the desert — driving in a car 80 miles an hour, looking for something. It kind of reminded me at first of the Beatles. I didn’t really pay attention to the lyrics. I just remember [lyrics about] being lost about something or someone. I could see that song on the radio. It’s pretty upbeat. You can put that song into any category. It’s not really stuck into any certain music type — it’s not soul or rock. I’d probably give it a seven and a half or eight out of ten. - San Diego Reader

"More is Better"

The origin of Hotel St. George dates back to a night at the Casbah in November of 2007. “Erik [bass] and I met and had ourselves a bit of a pity party about the demise of our former bands — Vinyl Radio and a Week’s Worth, respectively,” says lead singer and occasional guitarist Matt Binder. “Erik knew Simon [drummer], and I was immediately intrigued because his last serious band had been a project in London with Ray Davies’s daughter. Brian [guitar] simply descended from the heavens as a gift from God to us.”

The band is a straight-ahead guitar-rock band that mixes alternative energy with some old-school FM radio songwriting prowess. They self-released an EP this past spring, Yippee!!!, and recently finished a full-length album.

“We’ve been advised to space out our releases further than three months, but we’re not going to do that,” says Matt. “Our goal is to make up what we lack in quality with sheer quantity. Actually, that’s not true either. It’s just that we write a lot of songs and I think that we’re progressing pretty quickly as a band, and we want to document our work.”

Even though Hotel St. George is a relatively new band on the scene, the group has managed to land one plum gig so far — the Karl Strauss Beer Festival.

“They provided us with a couple of ladies whose job was simply to make sure that we were well-fed and drunk,” Binder explained. “We kept them running around all day long fetching us beer and pizza. It was fantastic!”


“The origins of our name shall remain a mystery,” says Matt. “However, I’ll give you a hint. It involves a St. Bernard puppy, a Schwinn bicycle, and a lot of heartache. If we weren’t called Hotel St. George, we were going to be called Dream Manfully. Our shtick would have been performing as repressed homosexuals playing death metal.”


Brian: Rubber Soul, the Beatles. “George, John, and Paul were at the peak of their pop careers — maybe not their rock careers — but they were writing their best pop songs at the time. My favorite track there is ‘Nowhere Man.’ ”

Simon: Nevermind, Nirvana. “This is the CD that got me to take up the drums.”

Matt: Blood on the Tracks, Bob Dylan. “My girlfriend dumped me a while back, and I listened to Blood on the Tracks every day. Then we got back together, and I didn’t need it anymore, but I’d like to pay my respects to it by saying Blood on the Tracks.”

Erik: Turn on the Bright Lights, Interpol. “There is so much variety in the songs, and all the members contribute to this record. Some tracks are intense while others are a nice calm.”


Brian: Twilight Zone. “It’s timeless, classy, and clever, and I’ve learned a lot about my own morality from the lessons taught on the show. Or not.”

Simon: Quadrophenia. “It’s the best British film ever made. It’s ace.”

Matt: Straw Dogs. “I saw it a long time ago with some friends. At the end of the movie when it was time to discuss it I figured everyone must have loved it just like me. Turned out everyone else hated it.”

Erik: Sealab 2021, season 1. “That show cracks me up.”


Erik: “Our CD-release show at the Whistle Stop. It was a packed house.”


Brian: “We played a ‘secret show’ at the Triple Crown Pub dressed as cowboys and Indians. The opening band was some middle-aged, Christian folk-music act. After their set we set up our gear and then disappeared to the bathroom. We came out in full costume. We played entirely too loud for the bar, managed to offend the hippies with our Native American garb, and couldn’t see the people there to watch the show because there were pool tables set up in front of where we were playing.”


Simon: “My green card or a cup of tea. My green card is important, because without it I wouldn’t be able to be here or play in the band. But a cup of tea is probably the thing I prize the most. However, a cup of tea isn’t really a possession, is it? You can make tea just about anywhere, though, which I like. I drink it with dinner.”


Brian: “Vinyl for pleasure; MP3 for convenience.”


Matt: “When I first moved to San Diego I took a job working the front desk at the Best Western in Pacific Beach. On the Fourth of July the beaches are completely mad. There is a public restroom in front of the hotel, and there was a line literally a few hundred people deep to use it. Eventually, all the would-be bathroom users attacked the lobby of the hotel to use the facilities. My boss put me in charge of keeping them out and then split so that he could go party with friends. At first I tried to fend off the masses but eventually decided that it was an impossible task. So I took the low road and started charging the people to use the lobby restroom. Five dollars, no exceptions. I made $600 that day. I was fired the next day. Oh well, at least I had my own built-in severance package.”


Brian: “Saint Onuphrius. Onuphrius lived alone in the desert and wore only his hair and a loincloth of leaves — this led to his becoming patron saint of weavers. I like to think that he looked like Captain Caveman. San Onofre surf spot was named after him. I may have made that up.”


Erik: “George Foreman grill. That thing saved my life in college.”


Erik: “Beer because it has more variety and a wider range of flavors. Although great vodka is amazing, nothing beats a nice cold beer in hand when relaxing.”

Matt: “What’s great vodka? Doesn’t it all taste the same?”


Erik: “HBO without a doubt has some of the best TV series. Currently, I’m addicted to The Wire, and Entourage is one of my favorite shows.”


Simon: “What do you call him…Bob Saget? Someone said I look like Bob Saget. Is that a compliment? He’s a comedian, right?” - San Diego Reader


Yippee!!! Ep: June 2008
Hundreds & Thousands EP: Nov 2008
City Boy Lemon LP: June 2009



Hotel St. George is a four piece rock and roll outfit hailing from sunny San Diego, California. They came together in late 2007 after a chance meeting between singer Matt Binder and bassist Erik Visnyak at the natural history museum. The two of them bonded over a mutual love of all things Mesozoic.They soon enlisted Simon Leader on drums and Brian Reilly on guitar to round out the quartet. A few short months later they netted themselves two San Diego Music Award Nominations; one for Best New Band and one for Best Alternative Album. They followed their first ep up with a second one just 5 months later called Hundreds & Thousands. In June of 2009 they will release their first full length album called City Boy Lemon. They plan to tour extensively and to make lots of new friends.