…a discovery and not judging records by their covers

I’m someone who’ll happily admit to being wrong*…. though I’m not sure this falls into that category. More an instance of learning to give something a try before passing judgement.

Throughout the tail-end of last year (and some month’s prior when  it came out) I kept seeing mention of an album in those best-of lists. I didn’t read the reviews I didn’t want to know. Why? Well the cover was a big WTF. You can see it here. See, told ya. Nope, not joking; that really is the cover. The band, The Hotelier, decided that’s the best way to package their album Goodness.

So why would I listen to something that’s wrapped like that? Turns out because it’s fucking good is why.

I was reading a feature on Spin’s website on Wednesday – 30 Best Emo Revival Albums Ranked. Now, please, don’t think I’m about to start putting on eyeliner and listening to (shudder) bands like My Chemical Romance or other such atrocities. For me that genre refers to the music of bands like Sunny Day Real Estate or Cap’n Jazz. As such I’d recommend giving the feature a read.

Anywho. It lead to a lot of Spotify listening and discoveries – I’m still wrapped up in The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die’s Harmlessness too – so many great songs and discoveries that it’s genuinely exciting me. It’s also meant that my Your Daily Mix on said streaming platform has rapidly changed.

One of the albums in the upper echelon of that list – number 4- is just that bizarrely covered album. And I thought ‘ok let’s see what the hubbubs all about, bub.” I mean, afterall, the reviews were pretty ecstatic –  “Goodness feels like that very rare sophomore achievement where a fresh, already pretty great band becomes somehow cosmically greater” or “Goodness does more than remind of existence, it makes the promise of a new day, and even the everyday, feel more alluring.”

So… are they right?

Fuck, yeah.

There’s a rush, urgency to the guitars and vocals. A real pain apparent and never a let up from the percussion. There’s so much in the mix here that I’m discovering more with every listen – and I’ve had a good three of those since yesterday, like being keen to know every moment of these songs as soon as possible. There’s no way to refer to this band as ’emo’ – that would be wrong. They’ve very quickly (I’ve checked out previous albums by now too) evolved beyond that and can very much be considered a shit-hot alternative** band.

I’m still discovering this band and album so may well write more so will leave just a couple of tunes here but, lesson learned; as with books, never judge a record by it’s cover.





*Not really because I never am.

**Whatever that means now.

6 thoughts on “…a discovery and not judging records by their covers

  1. A couple of things. Firstly, I will never be able to ‘unsee’ that cover so thanks for that. Secondly, these guys are from Worcester, Mass, close enough to be called a Boston band. And I have never heard of them. Listening to it now. Review later though it sounds pretty good. I’ll check with my son (who’s on tour) to see if he’s heard of them.

    • Yeah the cover is er…. I have a date with the record store next weekend and would very happily add this to the shelves but for that cover and the fact that my son is now taking a delight in browsing the albums and exploring the artwork. This might mess him up

      • He’d be messed up? I can never have sex again. And by ‘never’ of course, I mean not till sometime late next week. But still!

      • I texted my son. As I suspected, he and his band mates know these guys and have played on the same bill on occasion. They sound somewhat like my son’s other band, Color and Sound. I think the sound these guys get is a fairly popular pop/punk thing these days.

  2. I’ll give this a listen. The sleeve photo is a tad unnerving, but there’s humor behind it, so it’s less jarring than, for example, “Two Virgins.” And the color scheme and graphics are very nice.

  3. Wow! I can’t believe that cover. I couldn’t hit back fast enough. I didn’t want my kids walking in on that one. I liked the song Goodness pt 2, so I will have to add this to the ever growing of albums to give a listen.

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