June 16, 2010

The New-Old Sound of Houses

(Reposted from Colorado Music Buzz, June issue)

My first impression of locally-based Houses was a mental sigh. While waiting for Achille Lauro’s late-night set to begin, I dragged my tired ass through the door of Hi-Dive, sorely in need of an energized pick-me-up. The female vocalist’s breathy crooning exacerbated this, as it seemed to drift over the crowd, with an equally mellow accompaniment of an organ providing a heady ambiance.

I felt my eyelids closing and thought of how this would inevitably be the longest set ever. Imagine my surprise when the vocals then abruptly stopped and the band launched into a killer riff performed through dueling guitars, unified chanting, and exploding tambourines. In that split-second, each surprised person in my group became a fan of the seven-piece Rock band.

Something simultaneously old and new is reemerging on the Denver music scene. More and more, Classic-Rock-inspired bands are appearing …and thank God for that, right? Yet Houses doesn’t seem to take inspiration from just one legendary band: They take on, at different times, the styles of nearly every renowned band of the sixties and seventies. A single song (such as “Black Hawk”) might incorporate organ-laden jams reminiscent of The Doors, the Folk-style ditties and apathetic voice of Neil Young, the psychedelic Prog-Rock of Pink Floyd, or just the good ol’ Rock and Roll of Southern rockers, The Allman Brothers Band. Listening to their deluge of clashing-yet-complementary sounds allows one to experience, if fleetingly, what this younger generation missed out on with the death of Classic Rock.

The long-winded guitar solos may occasionally stray into the area of self-indulgence (and showiness – such as using the microphone stand as a slide) or the many members, at times, may seem excessive on stage. Yet these musicians certainly have the talent to allow for this display, and in Denver’s vast world of Rock, Houses is sure to provide a lasting – and encouraging – influence.

If You Like: The Allman Brothers Band, Neil Young, Yes, Blind Faith

Style: Folk, Southern Rock, Psychedelic Rock

Band Members: Stephen Brooks (drums, percussion, organ), Andy Hamilton (guitar, vocals), Kinsey Hamilton (vocals, tambourine), Johnny Lundock (drums, organ), Mike Marchant (guitar), Eric Peterson (keyboard), Matthew Till (bass)

Recordings: Spring EP, Summer EP, Fall EP (with plans for, you guessed it, Winter EP)


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