Hands Like Houses
Ground Dweller


4.5
superb

Review

by Rowan5215 USER (15 Reviews)
March 10th, 2012 | 415 replies | 42,055 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Trick question: try and find a more phenomenal debut from such a young band. Answer: you just can't...

20 of 25 thought this review was well written

Hands Like Houses’ relatively short (not even 6-year) existence has been one of continuous blessings. Forming as So Long Safety in 2006, the band’s debut EP and first live shows served to introduce audiences to their impassioned blend of soaring, Tyler Carter-esque vocals, tight-knit rhythmic sections and rich, perfectly measured soundscapes. But that was just the beginning. Heading to the USA in 2010 to record an EP, the band returned in 2011 to complete it, in the process extending it to a full-length album. Hence Ground Dweller. With only two songs released and a small but powerful live show under their belt, the band managed to garner an incredible amount of hype and anticipation for Ground Dweller – more than has almost ever been seen for a debut album from an unknown band. But enough of the biography.

Moving on to the music, Hands Like Houses almost defy belief. That such a young band could have this amount of musical talent and lyrical smarts in addition to already having the sort of close bond that it takes some bands decades to form, is simply unbelievable. From vocals that put Jonny Craig to shame to a rhythm section that neither dominates nor disappears into the music, every member of the band compliments one another while also doing their own thing, and doing it well. It’s a type of sound that can’t be formed through practise or skill, it’s either there or it isn’t.

As for those who like to judge music by genre, HLH don’t attempt to create a new sound, just sort of blur the line between two existing ones. They tread a sort of line between post-hardcore without screaming or breakdowns and alternative rock with technicality. The sort of territory Emarosa and such bands have nearly trodden before, but not quite. Certain songs, the more mainstream ones such as “Antarctica” and “One Hundred”, may certainly call Emarosa to mind – but for the most part, The Receiving End of Sirens are the main influence to be found on Ground Dweller, especially on the atmospheric short track “A Definition of Not Leaving”, which forcibly reminds the listener of TREOS masterpiece “Stay Small”, and stands out as one of the best from the album.

So, does Ground Dweller actually have any flaws? Well, yes, but only small ones. As mentioned above, Hands Like Houses recorded a quarter (or thereabouts) of this album in 2010 before doing the rest in 2011, and at some points it really does show. The album’s lowest point is the not-good-but-not-bad “One Hundred”, a song that has its roots in the band’s early demos. The simple fact is, some of the album is just fresher, smarter and better than the older parts, and it suffers for it.

So apart from the occasional circumstance where newer tunes would have been preferable to older ones reworked, we basically have perfection. In fact, if you’re really looking hard for something to complain about, it would be that Ground Dweller is so damn good that it may just cast a shadow over the band’s future music. It’s happened to great bands before, and will again. But it’s much too early to judge what the band will sound like in future, so let’s just enjoy what we have in the present.



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user ratings (346)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
foreverwestbound (5)
A debut that by all means excels and creates a memorable, enjoyable and deep album....

TBH717 (4.5)
A youthful and jubilant execution justifies not re-inventing the wheel in Hands Like Houses' first a...

Devon Benn (4)
Great music. Generic production....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
March 9th 2012



20277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

It's been released on iTunes in Australia. Freakin' check it out right now. RIGHT NOW

silentstar
March 9th 2012



1882 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I highly doubt this is worthy of a 4.5 rating, but I'll give it a spin, and see whether you're actually right.

CaptainDooRight
March 9th 2012



26444 Comments


I highly doubt this is worthy of a 4.5 rating[2]

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

Bloodhail
March 9th 2012



1133 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I looked at the album art and thought "looks like rise"






I like being right.

J0ckstrapsFTW
March 9th 2012



3583 Comments


The songs I've heard are really really good... Pos

CasinoColumbus
March 9th 2012



340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like that album art though. Will check this out, just because TREOS and DLC are in the recommended
section.

Rowan5215
March 9th 2012



20277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Cheers bros.

wacknizzle
March 9th 2012



11912 Comments


I highly doubt this is worthy of a 4.5 rating[3]




Still gonna check this out when it leaks.

Digging: Fall of Efrafa - Inle

Ponton
Emeritus
March 9th 2012



5775 Comments


oh yeah?

Digging: Mimicking Birds - Mimicking Birds

silentstar
March 9th 2012



1882 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The album already leaked; I'll send you the link on your shoutbox.

Eulogize
March 9th 2012



2966 Comments


I highly doubt this is worthy of a 4.5 rating [4]

wacknizzle
March 9th 2012



11912 Comments


Awesome! Thanks shadow.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 9th 2012



5775 Comments


so far this is easily aoty

like wow bon iver 2012

silentstar
March 9th 2012



1882 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I won't deny, this is really enjoyable so far. The vocals are great, and it's really catchy.

Rowan5215
March 9th 2012



20277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Told you, didn't I?

wacknizzle
March 9th 2012



11912 Comments


So is it Hands Like(Enjoy) Houses or Hands Like(Simile) Houses?

J0ckstrapsFTW
March 9th 2012



3583 Comments


Simile lol

julezv
March 9th 2012



4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good album and good review. Pos'd

silentstar
March 9th 2012



1882 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So I was listening to 'Watchmaker', and I thought I head different vocals, and lo and behold, Matty from Memphis May Fire features in it.

wacknizzle
March 9th 2012



11912 Comments


Is Johnny Craig anywhere on the album? Rise usually loves to help support his drug addiction by giving him features on other band's albums.



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