Hailing from Australia I have high hopes for ‘Ground Dweller’, as with every band that comes out of Australia they all seem to wow and amaze fans around the world, just look at the success of AC/DC and Parkway Drive. And my high hopes are definitely met if more as what Hands Like Houses have created on their major label release is something that is amazing and if anything genre defining.
The album starts off with ‘Antarctica’ which has flurry of electronic effects with haunting slow vocals, exploding into a melodic guitar onslaught with double bass laden drums the song is heavy yet technical. Lead vocalist Trenton has a soothing yet melodic voice as he can certainly hit the high notes and blend perfectly with the guitars.
The album has quite a few electro tinged songs with ‘The Definition Of Not Leaving’ being the most haunting and eerie song on the album which leads into Trenton showcasing the versatility of his vocals. ‘Spineless Crow’ is a more grandeur affair with an orchestral feel running in the background of the songs as the heavy yet melodic guitars blend well into the song.
Lion Skin is of course the one song that people will go to first because of the guest vocalists and quite rightly as well. The song is great with ex-Woe, Is Me frontman Tyler Carter taking half of the vocal duties of the song, both vocalists voices blend really well and the added extra Jonny Craig at the end powers the song to a epic end.
The catchiest song on the album has to be ‘One Hundred’ as Trenton sings “Hold your breath baby, we have to make our hearts sit still, hold your tongue honey, the things we know could unleash hell”. His lyrics are emotive and yet poetic at the same time and show that time has been spent perfecting what he sings. The song is heavy with some fast paced double bass led breakdowns mixed with some melodic guitar work.
The album does of course have some faults as well, after listening to the whole album you will sometimes feel that some of the songs do sound quite similar. Trenton’s vocals at times can be quite samey and he doesn’t seem to push his vocals too much and settles with what he can do naturally.
But what the band have created is an album that is heavy and is impressively technical as well, they have upped the musicianship of the genre and other bands better watch out because with an album like this they are surely set for bigger and better things.
‘Ground Dweller’ by Hands Like Houses is available now on Rise Records.
Words by Aaron Wilson (@soundslikeajw)