Indie rockers make strange epiphanies seem heaven-sent
The people on the cover of this Massachusetts quartet’s third LP are naked. So are the songs inside it: raw-hearted bursts of bald guitar churn backing lyrics that hunger for meaning in terms that’d be corny if the music didn’t hit so hard. There’s some latent emo here (one song is called “Opening Mail for My Grandmother”), but usually the Hotelier recall dorm-rock questers from R.E.M. to the Dismemberment Plan. “My eyes greet hers and hers do mine/And then the room becomes her shrine,” offers singer-bassist Christian Holden against the breakneck jangle of “Piano Player,” just one of many times here where goofy desire feels almost religious.