The Hotelier – Home, Like No Place Is There

I first came across The Hotelier when I was scrolling through my instagram feed and saw a photo from Poison City Records with some new titles they had in stock. I saw the album cover and knew I had to buy the album, I had no idea what genre the band was, or even the band name (the album cover just says “Home, Like Noplace is there”). A few weeks later and I made my way to Poison City, bought the album and the rest is history.

Before I get into reviewing the album, let me admire the title a little more; “Home, Like Noplace Is There” it’s simple, its conspicuous, its a play on words, and when the true meaning of it hits you, doesn’t your heart just sink? I’ve never known a title to have such an impact, such a feeling, without demanding anything. [Here’s the part where I rattle off some emo band albums that are crying out for attention… truthfully though, I either don’t know any or can’t think of them right now and they’re not worth searching for; I know they’re out there.]

So I’ve got the album, the title has hit me and I still haven’t played the record, I know I’m in for a sad album, but am I in for a punk album like Off With Their Heads, a post hardcore album like La Dispute or a basic emo album? It takes 30 seconds to determine its an emo album, but its no basic emo album, there’s true hurt in the vocals, there’s a passion that hasn’t been prominent in the emo scene since the 90’s. The title of this first track is “An Introduction To The Album” yep, thats the title; and it is spot on, it shows the listener what’s in store for them over the next 37 minutes. There is no respite from the emotions, from the passion or from the sadness for the entire 9 song album.

The first 15 seconds of “Your Deep Rest” sound a little up beat, its easy to think this is going to be the albums positive song, the song where they sing about hope and pulling out of a slump. But thats so very wrong, this is one of the saddest on the album. It’s easy to point at the main lyrics of this song as the saddest “I called in sick from your funeral, the sight of your body made me feel uncomfortable” but after a few listens to the album and the song I found my self really noticing the first verse of the song. Again its the lyric hidden there, not wanting the attention that is the one powerful enough to draw a tear “What’s that note you’re writing there? Why are you giving me this back? This was a gift from when we met back when you weren’t so upset.” This lyric really makes the listener think about what the smallest actions of their friends might mean, how easy it is to not realise somethings wrong and how absorbed in our own shit we can sometimes be.

If that song isn’t enough to bring a tear to the eye of any listener then “Housebroken” is the next one to give it a red hot crack, this is my personal favourite and the song with the best lyricism on the album. A song clearly about animal cruelty, it takes an observant listener to realise the true meaning of the song is domestic violence. This becomes apparent early in the song with the lyrics “Phrases crept up your spine when he said “we must keep our bitches in line” and on his poker nights, he says the same of his wife.” But the genius lies within the more subtle symbolisms, “Master’s all that I’ve got, he keeps me having a purpose, gives me bed, keeps me fed…” symbolic of the sense of debt that women in violent relationships feel towards their abusive partner, it’s followed by perfect symbolism of the fear they have about how they could survive outside of the relationship. This is what makes the song for me and ultimately the album.

I generally believe 12 songs is an appropriate length for an album, 10 I’d normally say is too short but seems to becoming more accepted these days, this album comes in at only 9 songs but it feels like 20. The album so incredibly intense and emotional that it is tiresome by the 8th and 9th song, I would be more than happy to hear the album wrap up at Housebroken and finish at only 7 songs long. You’d get a lot of complaints from fans for calling a 7 song album a full length, but in my opinion it’s where the album should end for maximum impact and feeling.

I’m generally not big on emo music, its easy to sing about girls, heartbreak and wanting to kill yourself and to sing it in a way that attracts thousands of fans. It’s hard, though, to sing about true depression, losing friends, witnessing their suicide and feeling responsible. This album is truly emotional and one that gives hope to a genre that had all but died. Housebroken is a song with a vitally important message, and if it weren’t for Against Me! releasing Transgender Dysphoria Blues in the same year I would have declared it song of the year last year.


Matt Power
30 April 2015

Full Disclosure

Feeling Good
Drinking Coopers Green (x2) Jameson/Ice (x1)
Recent Listening Off With Their Heads
How I Listened Modern Vinyl (legacy turntable)

The Hotelier Home, Like No Place Is There

Artist The Hotelier
Album Home, Like No Place Is There
Released 25 Feb 2014
Label Tiny Engines
Tracks 9
Run Time 37 minutes
Genre Emo

The Hotelier Home, Like No Place Is There