ALBUMs the hotelier Goodness
Hailing from Massachusetts, The Hotelier are mostly known for their 2014 release Home, Like Noplace Is There, which became a classic in the Emo and Punk scenes with just nine tracks. After a long album cycle, they retreated to write its successor, and are coming back with Goodness. Goodness had a lot to live up to : The Hotelier, like many bands in their scene, have a huge hype around them, thanks to the success of their sophomore album. So not only was it highly anticipated, the artwork, which features eight naked elderly people, was censored virtually everywhere. And yet, even with all this mystery and hype surrounding them, The Hotelier may have written their most humble album to date. Opening the album is the first of three interludes, ‘N 43° 59′ 38.927’, a spoken word, and the coordinates in the Interlude titles reference the place where vocalist and bassist Christian Holden recorded them. Now, with a lot of other bands, opening with an interlude might have been detrimental to the listener getting into the album, but after all this is The Hotelier, and it blends flawlessly into second track ‘Goodness, Pt. 2’, which builds up with vocals
and drums only until it finally kicks in and the album truly starts, much like ‘An Introduction To The Album’ on Home, Like Noplace is there — which since became a fan favourite. ‘Piano Player’ sounds like a well measured of every Emo and Punk band they’ve been compared to (the likes of Modern Baseball, The World is A Beautiful Place, and Joyce Manor) and been grouped with, except it’s more than 5 minutes and unlike Modern Baseball, who started doing longer songs on their new album, The Hotelier have always been fond of that. As the album flows, it becomes clear that Goodness sees the band going in a lighter direction than they previously did ; ‘Two Deliverances’ shows their signature mix of a calm instrumental and Holden’s heart wrenching vocals, and when he sings “I can’t drop my history just to become new”, it’s a good indication of how The Hotelier might be headed towards the light with this album, but they’ll always be a band that people hold dear for their classics on Home, Like Noplace Is There, and knowing that, it’ll be very exciting to follow them as they open this new chapter. ‘Soft Animal’’s
true love Detroit five piece, TRUE LOVE are raising hell with their debut full – length on Bridge9 Records: “Heaven’s Too Good for Us”. With two previous releases under their belt, the Michigan Hardcore quintet are looking to sculpt their definitive onslaught by revisiting songs from previous releases and new songs to match the consistent and urgent energy that True Love has built a reputation for with their sound. Bringing together a tracklist weighing in at 17 minutes, with features from Turnstile’s Brendan Yates and Forced Order’s Nick Samayoa. With this release, True Love have made the effort to polish what their discography had already offered; with the return of 3 tracks from 2013’s A Floral Note. These songs don’t offer anything to show that they have been revised in terms of structure but rather the sound much tighter with more performance
Photo by: Ryan Dalton Rodrigues
chorus goes further in that direction and shows Holden slowly regaining hope while encountering a deer ; The Hotelier also haven’t lost their ability to do storytelling through their songs, which sets them apart from a lot of other bands. It’s important to note that even though this album may carry the same themes, it’s not a sequel to Home, Like Noplace Is There : it may respond to it, and inevitably, it follows an album that has become an Emo classic since it was released which is a hard task ; but the beauty of Goodness is that if you took it independently from its predecessors, it would still be blinding and overwhelming with feeling— in a good way.
Words by Alma R.
heavens too good for us
coming from vocalist Dominic Vargas, compared to the songs older counterparts. As far as laying out True Love’s sound in brief, imagine the song writing of Background Music by American Nightmare but with really good production. The lyrics are fleshed out but poetic, often containing stanza’s and images of endearment. Each song on this record has restless, pummelling riffs accompanied with Vargas putting out a matched effort with his vocals, snapping him in tune and setting himself at the bar his band had already raised as soon as the first overdriven chords came powering in. Heaven’s Too Good for Us doesn’t pace itself... more often or not you may not realise when a song has started or stopped or even If the song you’re listening to is actually the song you thought it was but it works, there’s
no stopping this pain train, fucker. True Love shows a lot of initiative with this debut record; it presents itself as contemporary and retains the traditional Hardcore complex at the same time. Composes itself with aggressive linearity and does not stop for anyone... I’d recommend this to anyone who wants to listen to Hardcore but needs something more accessible in terms of production. Words by Dominic Bevis
Slam Dunk 2016 special, filled with live reviews, photo galleries, Q&As and a special cover feature interview with Seafoal.