A horrible hack

The Hotelier

Home, Like Noplace Is There

Year Released: 2014
Format: LP
Label: Tiny Engines
Reviewed by Rob Mair on May 22, 2014
A change is as good as a vacation, so the adage goes. The Hotelier changed their name (from The Hotel Year) and have returned with a sure-fire contender for album of the year. ‘Home, like Noplace Is there’, despite the clumsy title, is filled with emo-pop/post-hardcore anthems and emotional depth which, even at this early stage of the year, stands apart from every other release I’ve heard. For the most part, The Hotelier recall The Weakerthans at their most literate and affecting, yet there’s pop-punk nuances and post-hardcore urgency flowing throughout ‘Home, Like Noplace Is There’ which means it never feels like we’re listening to a tribute act or a homage. Opener ‘An Introduction to the Album’ has a wistful melancholy air (and it is perhaps in feeling more than sound that it stands up to The Weakerthans – and this is a case in point), while there’s a gorgeous, simple piano line that plink-plonks its way in parts through the background. It’s understated, but deliberately so – and sets up the remaining eight songs perfectly. The next three songs – ‘The Scope of all of this Rebuilding’, ‘In Framing’ and ‘Your Deep Rest’ round off what is a stunning first half of the album. The latter in particular shows just how potent The Hotelier are when everything comes together. “I called in sick from your funeral, the sight of your body made me feel uncomfortable. I couldn’t recognise your shell,” sings Christian Holden with barely any musical accompaniment (echoed later with a call saying the protagonist felt responsible). It’s powerful stuff and means The Hotelier avoid any of the clichéd emo pitfalls. The middle of the album, while still excellent, sags somewhat compared to both the start and the last 2 tracks despite the punked up ‘My Life in Drag’. Closing with ‘Discomfort Revisited’ and ‘Dendron’ though means ‘Home, Like Noplace Is There’ finishes on a high. Tiny Engines are on a massive roll at the moment, but ‘Home, Like Noplace Is There’ is arguably the jewel in the crown – and is sure to be propping up numerous end of year lists come December.

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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