“Make me feel alive
The Hotelier, Goodness
The Hotelier’s “Home, Like No Place There Is” was one of 2014’s biggest rock masterpieces, rocketing a relatively unknown band from Massachusetts into a scene-specific spotlight and elevating the bar for what little-bands-that-could can do. To me, it was one of the most original, emotional albums I’d heard in what felt like ages, something that ripped open my chest and found the most secret thoughts to expose in all their pathos on a stage. I can’t think about my first spring and summer in Pittsburgh without thinking about the mournful chorale of “An Introduction to the Album,” or the agonizing shame of “Your Deep Rest.”
It’s hard for me to pin down just what it is that makes this band so good – is it the lyrics themselves, these strong metaphors and perfectly metered phrases sung in a soulful, stretching baritone? Is it the guitars, with distortion aplenty and moody, melodic chords? Maybe it’s just talent. I can’t say just what it is, but it’s woven into “Piano Player” and its crashing, thrashing, peripatetic motion, and in “Soft Animal” yearning, pleading hooks. I’m so sold on this band, and I’m confident they won’t fall into that same familiar pattern of a band who broke through and broke down. Songs this deep and rich will always find an audience. Songs this exploratory, this well-versed and composed, will always need to be written so they can be heard.