Published Feb 24, 2015Nearly a year since the release of their outstanding sophomore LP Home, Like Noplace Is There, the Hotelier have re-issued their 2011 debut It Never Goes Out, giving the album its long-awaited physical release.
In the three years between this and their most recent album, the band have altered their sound and grown significantly; It Never Goes Out is a snapshot of the band still finding their feet. Most of the songs fall into typical pop-punk structure, utilizing soaring octave leads and bouncy, upbeat rhythm sections in tandem with the back-and-forth vocals of Christian Holden and guitarist Chris Hoffman. Holden's vocals in this context often seem strained; it's apparent here that the band, having yet to discover their signature sound and capitalize on their musical strengths, frequently settle for a more generic approach.
However, there are songs on the record — "An Ode To The Nite Ratz Club" in particular — that foreshadow the musical prowess that they'd eventually go on to demonstrate throughout Home, Like Noplace Is There. Balancing catchy verse hooks along with emotive and nostalgic lyricism, the band create a perfect parallel between the narrative Holden belts out and the swelling and crashing instrumental arrangement. As a standalone piece, this album has its ups and downs, but it's clear in retrospect that this album was the groundwork the band was setting for the sound that they would eventually hone. (Tiny Engines)