“Home, Like Noplace Is There” 1 Year Later

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez



A year ago the majority of the punk world was stunned. Released today in 2014, was The Hotelier‘s critically acclaimed,  Home, Like Noplace Is There. When I first received the text from Henderson telling me to listen to it because it was album of the year material, I shrugged because no way this band, who I had never heard of, could pull off that title so early into the year. Boy was I wrong. But now, a year later, where does it stand?

We of course have the opening track ‘An Introduction To The Album’ which weaves its way into your ears, implanting the concept of what this album will be covering. This is not just nine tracks of music, this is a band spilling their heart and guts about some of the darker sides of life. The way the lyrics twist around the subject until the climax of this song leave you hooked and wanting to know more. ‘The Scope Of All This Rebuilding’ is the catchy and grim song about losing the bounds. Realizing that someone is becoming distant. The vocal melodies work well because of their desperate nature. The bass line is one of my favorites on this album, calmly swooning through the mess of emotions without breaking.

‘In Framing’ is an upbeat song with more pop influenced and catchy vocals that has quite the dark twist in the lyrics. It all leads into the darkest track lyrically ‘Your Deep Rest’ which does not hold back. The thought of suicide is more relevant to people’s lives than a majority of people think. When it happens to a loved one it becomes an uncomfortable burden. The Hotelier captured that in this track. The scope of depression being discussed is one of the hardest things, made possible with emotions skyrocketing by the end of the song. 

‘Among The Wildflowers’ not only takes a dark turn halfway through the track, but sheds light on female gender identity. “You took the comfort from the lights in her soul. Projected map of the body: it’s crass, abject, colonial.” I won’t get into it in this write up but the story made out here is the depression felt from not fitting to the mass standards of role. The dark turn also is let out with screamed and pure frantic vocals, leading perfectly into the spastic ‘Life In Drag.’ Bringing up the gender issues again and what feeling trapped inside your own body feels like. It also shows a war between the victim and the narrator, “Cast a stone at the foe and the stone hit me.” 

Taking an immediate turn in pace and content is ‘Housebroken.’ This track makes me cringe. This is the one spot on the album where I understand the content but it doesn’t fit the mood. By this point I am disassociated from life and fully embedded into the emotional toll of the album and this song about being chained up confuses me. I understand society holds in our inner revolution but just the song long metaphor comes off as too cheeky. ‘Discomfort Revisited’ brings back the touchy subjects from before while also giving a narrative of what it is like asking for help and not being able to quite grasp it.

Closing track ‘Dendron’ is the epitome of relatable tracks. What makes this record unbelievable is the amount of tension released from cathartically singing/screaming along. The ending still leaves me floored.

What is great about Home, Like Noplace Is There? Maybe nothing, maybe the entire thing has all been a myth, just hype. But I doubt it, look to the songwriting, the desperate need for release, the buildup of tension reaching every climax. I’ll just leave with this,

“Wish I was there to say goodbye when you went away. Wish I was home but noplace was there. I cut off my arm at the bone in solidarity. Capital teaches that there’s less when you share. I felt the noose tighten up on your collar bone. I felt the gun in the small of your back. Engraved in the stone by request and recurse of friends dead is ‘Tell me again that it’s all in my head.'”