The Hotelier are an American punk band from Worcester, Massachusetts; since 2014 the band have gained attention and popularity after a few early slow years. With their new album Goodness set for release at the end of May, the band are looking to take another bigger step towards the mainstream attention they so richly deserve.
If you’ve heard of The Hotelier before then it will most likely be because of their 2014 sophomore album Home, Like Noplace Is There. Whilst the album wasn’t a chart success, it has since garnered a cult like following and has received overwhelmingly positive reviews (it currently sits at a Metascore of 91); this acclaim includes multiple publishers placing it among their best albums of 2o14, while the album also topped AbsolutePunk’s list and ranked at no. 6 in their users’ Top 50 albums of 2000-2015.
The album is a concept album; it tells the overarching story of someone returning to their old home and rediscovering all the old memories that come with it. Mostly painful ones. Opening track, the aptly titled ‘An Introduction to the Album’, signals this revisiting and starts off with the blistering line, “Open the curtains. Singing birds tell me ‘tear the buildings down'”. The song builds and builds until singer Christian is joined by the rest of the band as he screams, “So if I call, should I beg? Because I’m desperate here; a couple steps from the edge” . It’s an incredible sight to behold live as fans cry out every word in unison, feeling every drop of emotion that the band have poured into the track. It certainly establishes the album’s direction straight from the word go.
Among the rest of the record, highlights include ‘In Framing’ a musically upbeat track with sobering lyrics about an acquaintance plagued with mistakes and imperfections ultimately resulting in and emergency – “You lifted the towel, your wrist showed the bone. I held my breath in the ER, I swayed as I stood”. ‘Your Deep Rest’ tells the heartbreaking story of a friend’s suicide and how Christian couldn’t bear to show up at their funeral – “I called in sick from your funeral. The sight of your body made me feel uncomfortable” – and ‘Housebroken’ is a haunting tale of domestic abuse, these are perhaps the darkest and most emotional tracks from the album. Closing track ‘Dendron’ is simply one of the finest closing tracks of any album, a musical and lyrical epic that closes the album out in a bang and brings to a close this incredible piece of music.
The album is musically and lyrically deep, profound and touching, it’s an album which you really need to invest yourself in to fully understand just what the message is and just why this album exists, and equally, why it’s just so good.
Forthcoming album Goodness promises more of the same. Already released song ‘Piano Player’ is a quieter piece but still retains the musical and lyrical quality of Home, Like Noplace Is There, proving that the band aren’t just one hit wonders and will definitely be a band to watch out for this year and in the coming years as they continue to take huge and leaps and bounds towards stardom.