The Hotel Year

It Never Goes Out

Written by: TL on 03/04/2012 11:54:38

Here at Rockfreaks we get a lot of promos from bands big and small, most of them very different, yet they can all be accurately divided into two categories. Promos that lie around in line on your harddrive, waiting for a while and then you review them - And promos that lie around in line on your harddrive, waiting for a while and then you review them and then you feel bad about having taken so long to get to them. "It Never Goes Out" - the debut LP of Massachusets punk-rock quartet The Hotel Year - is one of the latter.

Released early last year, and sent to us in October, "It Never Goes Out" offers melodic, emo-tinged punk-rock in the veins of bands like Carpenter, Piebald and the lesser known Scream Hello, and should sound easily accessible for fans of everything from The Menzingers and Red City Radio to old Moneen and Jimmy Eat World records. You've got a no-nonsense production wrapped around the small-town punk rock sound, with vocals lead about 60-70% of the time, by a punk-rock-ish style reminiscent of the voice you hear in Carpenter and The Menzingers, and otherwise sung in a more sharp, emo-type voice not unlike something from a Get Up Kids record. Long story short, the main elements employed here are nothing if not traditional, and indeed the biggest drawback for the album is probably how much it sounds like the scores of similar punk rock band currently trawling the US underground - especially when the first-mentioned type of vocals is in the lead.

Fortunately for The Hotel Year though, they still have some aces up their sleeves in the form of some extremely well-written - and just as importantly, some well-articulated - songs and lyrics. You see, "It Never Goes Out" is the kind of record that will (or at least should) catch your attention immediately due to the urgency of its emotive style. And not just randomly so, because already on first listen you should notice some of its strongest hooks - moments of the kind that funnel all the sentimentality and nostalgia that pervades The Hotel Year's sound, and opens windows into their lyrics that can't but make you want to listen to the record over and over again, learning every single word, simply because of how warm, compelling and inviting these moments are. Simply put, they make you wish The Hotel Year's stories were your stories.

I could highlight multiple songs, like opener "Our Lives Would Make A Sad, Boring Movie"; which winds its way up to recommend that the listener "enjoy the simple things in life because you can, like your family, friends, community and local band, and if there's one thing in your life that you'll never forget, it's that we're dead in our future but we're not dead yet", or "And Ode To The Nite Ratz Club" which reminisces about a youth spent breaking in and making trouble at a factory after hours. But while songs like those and "Weathered" and "Still-Water Spectacle" may have some of the most instantly recognisable moments, "It Never Goes Out" is really more the sort of good time record you should rather just listen to from end to end. It may not re-invent the American punk-rock album, but it has a heart and soul that it will share with you more readily than most albums, and that impression alone is enough to overshadow most anything else about it.


Download: Our Lives Would Make A Sad, Boring Movie; An Ode To The Nite Ratz Club; Weathered; Still-Water Spectacle,
For The Fans Of: Carpenter, Piebald, Scream Hello, The Get Up Kids

Release Date 02.01.2011
Mightier Than Sword Records

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