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Hands Like Houses
By: Scott Turney
Hands Like Houses (HLH) are a five piece Australian rock band from Canberra, Australia. ‘Dissonants’ is their third album released under Rise Records and a follow up of ‘Unimagine’ released back in 2013. Since the release of ‘Unimagine’, Hands Like Houses lost keyboardist Jamal Sabet in 2014, but that loss was not about to stop this band. They continued to tour all over the globe from Australia to the US and then in early 2015 began writing and recording a new album. Hands Like Houses ultimately went on to create their best album to date in ‘Dissonants’.
‘Dissonants’ begins with the first single released “I Am”, and the first sound heard is a satisfying guitar riff and drum beating before vocalist Trenton Woodly makes his presence known. His voice has improved with every new album Hands Like Houses put out. “I Am” also shines with lyrics like “I am not the same, I won’t feed on fame.” and “I am dissonant!“. That track as a whole is an amazing introduction for the album. The next song is “Perspectives” which is a classic Hands Like Houses track. It is not as heavy as the opener “I Am” but the song itself is quite good. Following “Perspectives”, the next two songs are “Colourblind” and “New Romantics” which were the third and second singles released respectfully. Both songs are full of high energy and great lyrics like “We’re colourblind from the black and white, but we’ve never burned so bright.” from “Colourblind” or “A hopeless romantic, self-medicated on reality; a misunderstanding is all that anyone can see in me.” from “New Romantics”.
The sixth song “Division Symbols” continues the trend of emotional lyrics in this album with “let me count the ways you kill me“. The song demands to be listened to as it sucks the listener in and never lets go. Another song that does just this is the ninth track “Motion Sickness”. While not as fast or heavy as some of the previous songs, it is still a very emotional song. “If you turn left and I turn right would the curves of the Earth bring our paths back to cross again?” is beautifully sung by Trenton Woodly. The eleventh track “Grey Havens” is definitely one of the faster and heavier songs off the record that will no doubt electrify a massive crowd when played live. The album ends with “Bloodlines”, another track that is emotionally driven from start to finish. Trenton Woodly sings “Just by killing time, we kill ourselves; just by giving up, we give ourselves away.” The song is a great way of ending the record, as the music fades out shortly after.
Hands Like Houses have created a great album in ‘Dissonants’. With the beginning track “I Am” the listener knows he or she is in for a treat. Every song has something memorable to offer from emotional lyrics to a range in music styles, this is an album for any type of music lover. Some of the tracks however like “Colourblind” or “New Romantics” or even “Grey Havens” shine brighter than others, but that does not mean those other songs are bad by any means. If Hands Like Houses continue to grow, and improve just like they have done with each album since their inception, Hands like Houses will be one of the best bands in the future to come. Pop Deflators gives this album 4 out of 5 stars.
POP DEFLATORS RECOMMENDS: “Colourblind”