Hands Like Houses
Unimagine


4.0
excellent

Review

by augustburnsshred USER (1 Reviews)
July 27th, 2013 | 17 replies


Release Date: 07/23/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We will be unbreakable!

When I heard that Australia sextet Hands Like Houses would be signing to Rise Records before the release of their debut album Ground Dweller, I was skeptical. Having not heard the band yet, I thought they would be another run-of-the-mill, chuggy breakdown followed by pop-y chorus band that Rise is all too familiar with. Boy was I wrong. From the first time I hear Ground Dweller, I knew this band was going to be one to look out for. As good as it was however, their debut did have some issues. Most prominently was the production quality. Having recorded some of the tracks in 2011 and the rest in 2012, the album had an inconsistent feel to it. The spectacular vocals of Trenton Woodley were often buried in the barrage of instrumental chaos that was overlaying them.

Well fret not (guitar pun intended), because Unimagine fixes these issues and solidifies this band as one of Rise's best. When they released the first single "Introduced Species", it appeared they had taken a slightly different approach to their sophomore effort. They still bring all of the amazing instrumental prowess from Ground Dweller, as well as Woodley's astounding vocals, but Unimagine has something very crucial that their first album lacked. Simplicity. The tracks on Unimagine have room to breathe and are still just as technically impressive as Ground Dweller.

Starting off with "Developments", this album couldn't have opened with a better track. It really showcases how much this band has improved over the last year. Starting with a mellow keyboard intro, it quickly explodes into a beautiful opening riff from guitarist Matt Cooper. He and keyboardist Jamal Sabet really take the lead on this album, accompanying lead vocalist Woodley's soaring melodies throughout each track with a finesse that most bands their age lack. Drummer Matt Parkitney and rhythm and bass guitarists Alexander Pearson and Joel Tyrrell respectively, lay the foundation for the three formerly mentioned members to build on, and a solid foundation it is. These guys have really learned how to tighten their playing and work off of each other, as opposed to playing over each other.

They have also developed some incredibly catching choruses on this album, with songs like "Introduced Species" and "Shapeshifters" being stuck in my head long after I've heard them. This is refreshing to hear, as their previous album, while it had some great moments, was forgettable at times.

They also take a more mellow approach to a couple of tracks, namely "A Tale of Outer Suburbia" and "Oceandust". The latter, while a good effort, was my least favorite track on the album. It's made up for however by the final four songs on the album. While I won't go into each individually, "No Parallels", "Fountainhead", "Wisteria", and "A Fire on a Hill" are some of the best material I've heard this year, let alone from the band. Woodley's vocals on "A Fire on a Hill" are emotionally charged and his range is unmatched by most clean vocalists in the industry today.

All in all, while not perfect, Unimagine is a huge step up from Hands Like Houses previous album. It's albums like these that make me look forward to what's in store for the ever-redundant genre, and from what they've released so far, this band will be continually producing new and exciting material for years to come.


user ratings (232)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
John Mohlman (4)
This is happiness....

related reviews

Ground Dweller

Reimagine

Comments:Add a Comment 
pjquinones747
July 27th 2013


765 Comments


I'm undecided on this album. Some cool stuff here for sure though. They're talented so I'll stick it at a 3 until further notice. Good review, have a pos. I'll be interested to see some more reviews from you.

Digging: Thank You Scientist - Maps of Non-Existent Places

nononsense
July 27th 2013


3416 Comments


Not sure why people rate this so highly. It's rather generic

YakNips
July 27th 2013


11964 Comments


yeppers

Digging: Purge. - Sewage

TooLateToGoBack
July 27th 2013


1775 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good stuff

joshieboy12345
July 27th 2013


5371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review dude.

Italianjesusfootball
July 27th 2013


265 Comments


Nice review man. Have a pos.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

augustburnsshred
July 27th 2013


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nononsense I do understand where you're coming from. I get that this album isn't the most creative thing to come out but because of the band's progression from their first album, their potential to progress even more, and my sheer enjoyment of this album, I gave it a four

Rowan5215
July 27th 2013


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, pos'd. I like some of this album but some is just so goddamn boring.

Digging: Vestascension - Breaching the Sound

joshieboy12345
July 27th 2013


5371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is one of those bands where you either like them or loathe them.

Rowan5215
July 27th 2013


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well I don't really do either of those, joshie. I loved Ground Dweller but a lot of this is boring to the point of tears (Introduced Species and Wisteria especially). Developments, Shapeshifters, Oceandust, No Parallels and A Fire on a Hill fucking rule though.

joshieboy12345
July 27th 2013


5371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm talking specifically about the vocals. Trenton's voice is really like omg this rules or omg his voice is so annoying.

Rowan5215
July 27th 2013


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh ok fair enough. I really like his voice but he definitely rips off Jonny Craig a bit, and I wish he used that epic falsetto more often than he does.

joshieboy12345
July 28th 2013


5371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like his voice more than Jonny Craig's tbh.

Feather
July 30th 2013


1367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"This is one of those bands where you either like them or loathe them."

I havn't seen anyone loathe them. I keep seeing ratings between 3 and 4 so it seems like everyone just sees them as above average to great.

Digging: Zella Day - Zella Day

joshieboy12345
July 30th 2013


5371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm more talking about you either love the vocals or loathe them.

Feather
July 31st 2013


1367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ oh I see... sorry bud! Hope theres no hard feelings!

Anyway I'm pumped to see them tomorrow at warped but sad that they have only been playing two songs off this album live

joshieboy12345
July 31st 2013


5371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol all good man if you get offended by something that small you won't last long on this site. Oh sweet man, i'm an Aussie and our Warped Tour equivalent is beyond shit.



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