It only takes one listen to Houses & Hotels’ new single “Nodding Off” to hear the intensity and conviction in lead singer and guitarist Brad Flickinger’s voice. Nope, there’s nothing lighthearted in this new single from the trio, a song that deals with the seriousness of the opioid epidemic that has befallen the United States and Canada over the last two decades.
The song acts as the second single from the band’s debut album, Never Knows Best, a collection of revved-up punk rock anthems that primarily discuss mental health and unreciprocated love. The album truly succeeds in its musical depiction of raw emotion and youthful alienation. The songs are honest and to the point, representative of the group’s unabashed approach to their craft.
Elaborating on their new single, Flickinger tells us:
“‘Nodding Off’ describes the opioid epidemic and how I’ve known so many people that have died. I wrote the song in anger with the pharmaceutical companies and the politicians that have allowed incredibly addictive substances to so freely be distributed. It’s a topic that has followed this band since we all grew up in the Midwest and have had so many of our friends, family, and fellow musicians lose their lives to opioids. This song is a tough one to perform because of the weight of the lyrics.”
As the band’s lead singer and guitarist, Flickinger is very capably backed up by the team of bassist Amir Gholizadeh, and drummer Tynan Evans. All three have been friends for many years and have collaborated in multiple bands and musical projects through the years. Based in Akron, Ohio, they have worked hard to establish themselves locally, specifically in and around Northeast Ohio. Combining distorted guitars and dreamy-like vocals, Never Knows Best features an off-the-cuff, yet polished sound, with producer Jim Wirt (Incubus, Something Corporate, Fiona Apple) providing his full support, working with the band at Superior Sound Studios in Cleveland.
This is the sound of a band that has figured out who they are and is now ready to divide and conquer, with a national tour of the United States currently in the works.