Review Summary: Great music. Generic production.
(My first review. Cut me some slack.)
I never really have heard much about Hands Like Houses. All I knew is that they were an australian band. This immediatly made me want to give this band a chance, considering the fact that some of my favorite bands are from Australia. So I decided to give Ground Dweller a listen (which took me a while because I'm not the biggest fan of Cameron Mizell's production). I was immediatly blown away by what I listened to.
This band is absolutely talented in every way. Six young people from Australia in a post-hardcore band" I know it sounds bad but this is just fantastic. The album opens up with "Antartica." This song's intro is amazing in itself. I haven't heard electronics used in hardcore music sound this good since Number[s] by Woe, Is Me
. I really enjoyed the intro to this. And then the vocalist came in. Wow. This dude can sing. It isn't super poppy/flashy but neither is it whiny or emo sounding. It's just sort of in the middle. The next song is "Don't Look Now, I'm Being Followed. Act Normal." The chorus is mainly my favorite part in this song. It's amazing.
My favorite song is "Lion Skin" which features Tyler Carter (formerly of Woe, Is Me and current vocalist in Issues
) and Jonny Craig (formerly of Emarosa
and Dance Gavin Dance
). This trio of vocals create some of the best singing I have heard in a post-hardcore song since Isles and Glaciers
. The drums in the chorus is pretty original and something I have never heard before used in a chorus.
The music structure is very cool. Post-hardcore but minus the screams and breakdowns and more emphesis on technicality in the instruments. Electronics are prevalent but are not overbearing and each use of a synthesizer compliments the song an the section of the song that it is used it.
My main issue with the release is production. This is what kept it from being a 5. The drum tones of Cameron Mizell can get pretty overbearing throughout the album. The drums are the metalcore sound. Doesn't really fit a band that in all honesty has a softer style compared to other albums that have been produced by Cameron. The guitar tone can also be pretty thin and noticebly thin at certain parts throughout the album. Bass is not audible but I've grown to expect that in this genre and in albums produced by Cameron.
All in all, if you like Emarosa, definitely check this out. If you are a fan of heavier post-hardcore bands, stay away from this. And if you hate Cameron Mizell's production, definitely stay away.