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Album Review: Goodness by The Hotelier

American rock band The Hotelier release their third album Goodness on 27th May via Tiny Engines. After their second album Home, Like Noplace Is There (2014) bought the band to attention in the emo revival scene and garnered plenty of critical acclaim, Goodness comes with high expectations. Luckily for everyone, not only does it deliver but exceeds all anticipation.

Where Home, Like No Place Is There dealt with dark issues, Goodness has a similar feel but somehow comes across more life affirming and forthright. From spoken word intro track Goodness never looks back. ‘Goodness Pt2’ kicks things off properly against a solo drum track before the track slowly comes to the fore with the jangly emo/post hardcore guitars giving off what has now become the band’s trademark sound. As a point of reference ‘Goodness Pt 1’ was sold on limited edition vinyl during the band’s 2015 tour. ‘Piano Player’ gives the first hint that Goodness is going to be something special. Chris Holden’s vocal comes to the fore and coupled with the excellent guitar work it’s hard not to fall in love with the track.

‘Two Deliverances’ is the moment that you’re properly reminded how good The Hotelier are. Again a lot of their power and magic comes from Chris Holden’s vocal, this time it’s that little bit more strained and impassioned, suckering you in and striking an emotional chord. Placed against the jangly guitars that edge towards pop rock it makes for a track that after a couple of listens becomes one of your favourites. A similar flavour feeds through to the first two minutes of ‘Settle The Scar’ before the track breaks down into a swirling whirlwind of emotion. The track builds and withdraws but in both tones packs a big emotive punch that resonates.

If that wasn’t enough of an emotional rollercoaster ‘Opening Mail For My Grandmother’ will surely move even the most stone hearted. It’s a quiet lament with the emotion from Holden’s vocal feeding off the delicate and succulent guitar work, the occasional short lived burst into gang vocals make it even better. ‘Soft Animal’ unsurprisingly (being the lead single) is the most instantaneous track on Goodness. You’ve surely heard it and are aware of just how good it is, wonderfully powerful and commanding you can’t help but sing along and ‘feel alive’. ‘Sun’ goes one step further, eclipsing the single with its fragile and heart wrenching lyrics and overall feeling of grandeur. The track threatens to explode at different points before reeling it in, keeping a simmering energy that thrills throughout. Clocking in at close to 7 minutes it’s the most ambitious and expansive track. At first it may seem like the track disappears down a rabbit warren at the mid point but in reality it conjures up a brooding landscape that builds and sets the track up perfectly for its wonderful finish.

‘You In This Light’ is a beautiful and affecting track. The addition of strings to ramp up the emotional impact and that drum solo finish put it up there with the best tracks on Goodness. The Hotelier have the knack for seemingly laying all their emotions on the table and being able to pack strike you emotionally in a way none of contemporaries can. The piano led ‘Fear of Good’ twists that screw a little more (you’re probably close to breaking point here) before ‘End Of Reel’ finishes Goodness in a haze of emotion. When the track explodes in a burst of strained vocals and bustling guitars around the 3 minute mark you know that you might just have listened to one of the most emotionally affecting albums of your life. The final minute and a half of the track is a thing of beauty.

This is more than normal emo revival or post hardcore. This is something special. The Hotelier have hit out of the park with Goodness and created a stunning and beautiful album. This is essential, you even have to admire the artwork…. who doesn’t love old(ish) naked people.

AD Rating 9.75/10

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2 Comments on Album Review: Goodness by The Hotelier

  1. Colton Piland // May 22, 2016 at 4:10 pm // Reply

    good writeup!

    Like

  2. I love this band and this album. Only heard it because of this site. Cheers!

    Like

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