The Hotelier (formerly The Hotel Year) has always been a highly underrated band to me. It Never Goes Out was one of my favourite releases of 2011. There was something about this young band that was incredibly appealing and unique. After three long years, The Hotelier is prepared to release a new LP, Home, Like Noplace Is There, via Tiny Engines. I went into this record with very high expectations, as I absolutely loved the prior release and the new singles. Home, Like Noplace Is There blew everything I was expecting out of the water.
“An Introduction to the Album” introduces the record in a calm manor. The song consists of some very beautiful guitar work and intense vocals that are full of emotion. It eventually climaxes with the full band presenting a melody that is impossible to not bob your head along to. “The Scope of All of This Rebuilding” is the first song where you get a taste of what The Hotelier is all about. The mesmerizing vocal melodies and catchy riffs are something any punk or emo fan will love. Two songs in, this record is already seeming well worth the three-year wait. “In Framing” is full of catchy riffs, fun vocal melodies and punk rock undertones. The lyrics, of course, are full of emotion and provided by a heartfelt voice. The first three tracks have me considering Home, Like Noplace Is There to be a strong AOTY contender.
The playful riffs of “Your Deep Rest” kind of mask the more serious, emotional lyrics – but once you notice them, the songs feels a lot bigger than just a catchy indie-rock song. I really enjoy the darker sounding break near the 2:15 mark. Also, the song has one hell of an ending. “Among the Wildflowers” is going to be a favourite for a lot of people. It’s long, but it definitely keeps your attention the entire time. It houses some powerful instrumental work and story-telling lyrics that listeners are sure to enjoy. It also has some really interesting tempo changes that put the song on a whole new level than you might have expected from the first minute or so. “Life In Drag” is the darkest, most aggressive song on the record. Even though the vocal style could be thrown under the “screamo” genre, it still has the unique feel that it did on previous tracks. The song is a cool, little black sheep on the record.
“Housebroken” is a song that will probably leave a lot of people pondering the lyrics, and I’m sure they will have their own relations to the song. Rather than being a verse-chorus song, “Housebroken” is meant to tell a story. A lot of songs on this record carry that vibe, but this one especially left me thinking. Songs like that are always interesting because they make you want to keep listening and dissecting. “Discomfort Revisited” has some of my favourite drumming on the record; it really seems to drive this song, and it’s complimented very well by the vocals and guitar. The song also experiments with a ton of different vocal melodies that never seem to feel dull or boring. Basically, it’s just another masterpiece that makes up one big masterpiece that is Home, Like Noplace Is There. “Dendron,” the last song on the record, is another long one. The musicianship on this track is absolutely incredible, and it undoubtedly feels like a closing track. Filling your ears with heartfelt lyrics, powerhouse melodies and insane transitions, it’s a very appropriate farewell from Home, Like Noplace Is There.
There’s much more I can say about this record and band. The Hotelier is making some of the most genuine, emotional music out there right now. If you’re hearing any kind of buzz behind this record, believe every bit of it. I cannot pick one thing to dislike about Home, Like Noplace Is There. This is what music is about; there is no gimmick behind this record. The Hotelier is here to provide listeners with some of the catchiest, honest jams of 2014. This is what a perfect record sounds like.