‘Home, Like Noplace Is There’ might sound like what Yoda would say before tapping his ruby slippers together but, in this case at least, it is actually the title of a new release from The Hotelier. The album marks a new start for the four-piece, whose last release was back in 2011 under their previous moniker, The Hotel Year. And, while the name change is phonetically subtle, it somehow seems to better reflect the maturity in their music.
The Hotelier are clearly a versatile band, and these nine tracks really show off that fact. While the album as a whole tends towards a kind of Weakerthans-like emo pop, they do have an edgier side as well. This is most evident in ‘Life In Drag’, a track that powers out of the blocks with such force that it jolts you. The jarring moment feels deliberate though, as it sits within an album whose songs are individually well-crafted but also one that generally flows well as a whole.
And in fact, the song-writing is arguably the most impressive aspect of the album. Treading a careful line, The Hotelier manage to remain catchy and accessible without ever feeling too simple. If you’re looking for memorable tracks, ‘Your Deep Rest’ is the real star of the record. Its upbeat opening belies a truly emotive track that perfectly demonstrates the abilities of the band.
All in all, this is a very accomplished record that is deserving of recognition. Three years without a release might seem a fair while, but The Hotelier have made up for it.
– Tom Coxon