Shades of Bettie
Serveert and the Cranberries are evident on this
fem-fronted indie rock effort from Laura Lee Schultz, a
veteran performer on the Vancouver music scene. She's got all the
right influences (Sunny Day Real Estate, PJ Harvey,
Sebadoh), and her experience is evident in the level of polish
found on The Guest Room. Unfortunately, the songwriting is
sadly not up to par. Her songs are grungy and unfocused, and
frequently veer into sheer homogeneity. Mopey "Alone on a Thursday"
and uninteresting "Run to Toledo" come off as hackneyed and bland,
while "On a Lie" lacks propulsion. Luckily, a few of Schultz's
nuggets don't sink into mediocrity - particularly the taut hooks and
drum machine plod of "Talk is Not Cheap" and the exquisite
debauchery that is "Jekyl Hearts Hyde." At best, The Guest Room
is inconsistent; at worst, bland and derivative.