Home, Like Noplace Is There
There’s an inherent give and take when it comes to playing the type of cathartic emo-indebted punk on display on the second full-length from young Worcester four-piece the Hotelier (formerly known as the Hotel Year). Songs that fly so close to the edge to crashing musical abandon can lose ground in terms of discernible poignancy — form risks overwhelming substance. But there’s a bleeding, melodic heart at the center of these growled, guttural punches that provides another layer from which to appreciate them. “Your Deep Rest” is the best example, both for its respite-taking quiet/loud structures, but also its storytelling. “I called in sick from your funeral,” Christian Holden sings as the jerking verses give way to a straight-ahead, hook-heavy chorus. “The sight of your family made me feel responsible.” The harrowing “Among the Wildflowers” works itself into a frenzy before settling into more contemplative moments. The highs wouldn’t feel so high without the lows here, which is a regular trope of the genre; but as with all tropes, execution trumps invention, and the Hotelier executes exceptionally. (Out now)
Luke O’Neil can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.