Worcester, Massachusetts indie rock and punk quartet The Hotelier's latest album Home, Like Noplace Is There, originally released in February of 2014, is currently on its third pressing from the Carolina-based indie label Tiny Engines. Although I have listed them here as an indie rock and punk band, The Hotelier consider themselves "anti-pop," which is also a rather fitting term for what they do. They have the punk feel of Texas Is The Reason and The Riot Before, and the indie rock quality of Piebald and The Get Up Kids. And having listened to the nine songs on Home, Like Noplace Is There several times through now, I can say that there is a tremendous amount of songwriting talent and lyrical substance in this band's music.
Home... opens with "An Introduction to the Album," which starts out with a gentle wash of sound that quickly leads into clean guitar and keys and vocalist Christian Holden's strong voice, which goes from sober utterances to effusively frayed parts. "The Scope of All of This Rebuilding," the second track, is more of the merging of indie rock and punk that The Hotelier have become known for. "Your Deep Rest," one of my favorites on the record, is a rather powerful track regarding death and dealing with it, with the kind of remarkably well-written lyrical content which marks pretty much every Hotelier song, like "Might have learned how to swim but never taught how to drown." "Life in Drag" has somewhat of a post-hardcore sound to it, with distorted chords and hard-hitting drums and screamed vocals. "Housebroken" - think The Weakerthans - is a song about compassion and the fear of being fully domesticated. And the album's closer, "Dendron," is an achingly personal and revealing song with a handful of lines of vocal trade-offs and lyrics like "Wish I was there to say good-bye when you went away / Wish I was home but no place was there / I cut off my arm at the bone in solidarity / Capital teaches that there’s less when you share."
The Hotelier's Home, Like Noplace Is There is an album I cannot recommend enough. The third pressing of the album is up for pre-order now from Tiny Engines. The record will ship in July, 2014, and each purchase comes with an instant download of the full album.