Review Summary: Realised potential.
Massachusetts’ The Hotelier have returned, armed to the teeth with melody and conviction. For such a young band too, their confidence is staggering. 2011 saw the band release It Never Goes Out
, a release that, whilst loved, was a fairly generic pop-punk album. The band dips their feet into a wider sound here on Home, Like Noplace Is There
, and it definitely pays off.
One of the most important aspects of the album is how well it flows, so much so that it’s a case of The Hotelier having incredible ideas and even better execution. ‘An Introduction To The Album’ introduces the idea of optimism which is weaved subtly in each of the nine songs, and the voice in which singer Christian Holden narrates the music is tender, often reflecting the rest of the unit. This results in an overwhelming sense of cohesiveness, even when the band exchanges the gritty punk rock of ‘In Framing’ and ‘Life In Drag’ for the melodic delicacies of ‘Housebroken’.
But, it’s the lyrics and Holden‘s delivery that are the album’s selling point. He deals with the familiar topics of growing and friendship, whilst balancing it with more mature subjects like suicide, domestic abuse and even gender difficulties, all the while remaining catchy. If any of these topics are familiar to you, then Home, Like Noplace Is There
is sure to hit the emotions harder than a left hook from Mike Tyson himself. Holden‘s voice is interesting too; Pitchfork once described him as “passionate enough to aspire to the high notes, lacking the training and polish to hit them”, all in a Mike Kinsella-esque fashion.
Simply put, Home, Like Noplace Is There
is an absolutely breath-taking listen from start to finish. Each song drips maturity and emotion from every pore, whether it’s Holden‘s impassioned singing, the wondrous melodies and chord progressions the band use, or even the highly poignant lyrics. If one thing is clear, it’s that the The Hotelier‘s sophomore record will be high up on critics’ end-of-year lists, and we’re not even a quarter of the way through 2014.