The Hotelier’s second album ‘Home, Like Noplace Is There’ has become one of the most treasured emo records of the past decade since its release two years ago, and the band handed the tag of the American scene’s most promising sons.
‘Goodness’ largely takes the promise of ‘Home…’ and runs with it, with the grit and passion that defined that album still firmly evident. First track proper ‘Goodness pt. 2’, a sequel to the pt. 1 that was released on a tour only 7” last year, burns with the incessant growl of vocalist Christian Holden, and ‘Fear of Good’ shows the band’s capabilities can stretch to quite contemplation as well as fiery punk.
‘Goodness’ does start to drag its heels in a few instances though, in ways its predecessor never did. ‘Sun”s near-seven minutes feel elongated and stretched beyond their means, with single ‘Piano Player’ threatening to head the same way towards its conclusion, as the fade out may suggest.
‘End Of Reel’ is a track which does justify its length - a suitably grand ending which is the best example on ‘Goodness’ of the pummelling emotion the band are so loved for, and a repeated thwacking of the snare drum to finish; a pound to the heart it seems will never end.
Holding ‘Goodness’ up as a direct counterpart to ‘Home, Like Noplace Is There’ is unfair; it’s a sprawling record which reveals itself more slowly and with greater subtlety, opposed to ‘Home…”s immediate punch. It presents itself as an almost impossible follow-up, but ‘Goodness’ more than holds its weight, and shows its beauty in time.