Review Summary: On their sophomore effort, The Hotelier have evolved into something truly profound. This is a band at the top of their game.
If there was only one word I could use to describe my feelings towards The Hotelier’s emotionally fueled sophomore effort, it would be proud. Sure, their debut full length was excellent in its own right, but this follow-up is everything a fan could ask for, and so much more. Following a change in record labels as well as their name (previously The Hotel Year) it’s nice to see them bounce back with so much confidence and stability. It’s a welcome expansion to their sound, and it works wonders for the band.
Everything about Home, Like NoPlace Is There
reeks of maturity. The songs are longer, the lyrics have evolved from great to excellent, and the production is just delightful to the ears. Nothing feels out of place and there’s not a track that doesn’t leave an impression as Christian Holden unleashes his most convincing performance to date. Whether he’s stretching his vocal boundaries on songs like the aggressive, hardcore influenced ‘Life in Drag’ or showing us his softer side, he sounds better than ever as he brings each moment to life with pure, unadulterated emotion. The guitars work quite well alongside Holden's nasally voice, always matching his level of intensity, while never stealing the spotlight from his exceptional performance. From the poignant opening track to the kick-ass closer, the album simply doesn’t miss a beat as we are taken on a journey much deeper than one might expect from this genre. And let’s not forget ‘Among The Wildflowers’, which perfectly blends emo and hardcore to create a beast of a track that’s sure to snag a spot as song of the year by numerous music nerds, and for good reason.
However, it’s the subject matter behind these songs that makes them so meaningful. Holden holds nothing back as he spills his guts on topics such as growing up to more thought-provoking themes like gender confusion and suicide. ‘Your Deep Rest’ contains the memorable yet haunting lines I called in sick from your funeral, the sight of your family made me feel responsible.
As the listener digs deeper they’ll discover the death of the person in mention was no accident and there are several hints that there was a suicide note left behind.
Remember me for me, I need to set my spirit free.
It’s difficult to pinpoint a specific genre to The Hotelier’s Home, Like NoPlace Is There
, and perhaps that’s what makes it so spectacular. Whether your preference leans towards emo, punk, or hardcore, there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy on the band’s latest affair. Yet, it’s the sheer conviction behind the music itself that raises the album to a level all of its own. Each song is enhanced by the band’s clever lyricism and the guitars evoke emotion behind Holden’s commanding role on the microphone. No matter how you spin it, it’s sure to go down as one of the most memorable releases of 2014. It’s raw and honest, yet focused and refined. I don’t think they can get much better than this.