Release Date: Feb 25, 2014
Record label: Tiny Engines
Review Summary: GriefIn a lot of ways, The Hotelier's Home, Like NoPlace Is There hits the same resonant experiences in my life that made me gravitate to Superchunk's I Hate Music last year. For me personally, many of those notes still ring loudly; a friend committing suicide, another two being murdered, and one finally succumbing to a decade long fight with cancer. These are the kind of events that shake you in your mid-20's.
So how about this rebranding? Let me not nitpick. Their old sound was pretty solid - open, honest and emotional. The Hotelier continues in the same vein and as emo, melodic and warm as Home, Like Noplace Is There gets, there's still a rough edge to their music that takes them a notch above many in the game. This album is arguably their strongest music to date and they manage to shoot the most cathartic of bullets at you."An Introduction To The Album" offers a guitar-fueled ballad that signals just how well and how much the multi-layered vocals would be used on the record.
"The Hotelier’s second album paints the Worcester, Massachusetts quartet as posterboys of awkward music with feelings. " Remember how about six months ago we ran a Buyer’s Guide on the totally made-up genre of North American Feelingscore? Yeah, that was a bit silly, but if The Hotelier had dropped this a year previous, it would have made the dictionary definition. With all the misery of The Menzingers, the snottiness of Captain, We’re Sinking and the warmth of Better Off, The Hotelier’s second album paints the Worcester, Massachusetts quartet as posterboys of awkward music with feelings, and from start to finish there’s almost nothing to fault here.
On the opening track of the Hotelier’s sophomore record Home, Like NoPlace Is There, Christian Holden is a man of many words: 288 of them, to be exact. And they’re all secondary to two crucial, non-verbal moments that are nowhere to be found on the lyric sheet. Heraldic horns pipe up over a waltz of cyclic, clean guitars and sustained electric organ, right before Holden sings to a friend on the ledge, “Just remember when you’d call me to come/ take a deep breath and then jump.
Sometimes you wonder if the drastic screaming or constant thrashing in emo music is justified, given the lyrical topics at hand. Not for Worcester four-piece the Hotelier. Never once does the emotional heft of their second full-length come into question. Lead singer Christian Holden's wail verges on overbearing at times, but he maintains a poise not often heard in the genre.
THE HOTELIER Home, Like Noplace Is There There’s an inherent give and take when it comes to playing the type of cathartic emo-indebted punk on display on the second full-length from young Worcester four-piece the Hotelier (formerly known as the Hotel Year). Songs that fly so close to the edge to crashing musical abandon can lose ground in terms of discernible poignancy — form risks overwhelming substance. But there’s a bleeding, melodic heart at the center of these growled, guttural punches that provides another layer from which to appreciate them.
On Home, Like Noplace Is There, the Hotelier (formerly known as the Hotel Year) hold nothing back. Hope, despair, longing, unabashed excitement and love at its most naked surge from the speakers, every emotion both palpable and irresistible. Their stripped-back and organic-sounding punkish indie rock recalls early Jimmy Eat World, Texas Is The Reason, the Appleseed Cast, Penfold and the Weakerthans, and this album sees them stand toe to toe with any one of those bands, which is admirable to say the least.
I grew up a huge Brand New fan. This was pretty unavoidable. Half my teenage years were spent in an online music community where Jesse Lacey was on par with Jeff Mangum and the other half were spent as a bookish teenager in the subfaction of the tri-state area’s pop-punk community where it mattered whether you were team Brand New or team Taking Back Sunday.