Something Like Sound

Houses: Fall EP Preview Review

by on Nov.12, 2009, under Album Reviews

Fall is upon us. The air is crisp, the trees are bare, and denizens of Denver have been basking in the Indian summer that has enveloped the city over the past few days.

Opening with the instrumental “Lightening,” the glockenspiel and sunny electric guitars of the past Houses EPs have been replaced with classical guitar and a string section. This, more matured, opener is a bit of a harbinger for what the rest of the record has in store. Fading out into tribal drums and layers of guitars and echo-y keyboards, “Down To The River” has some definite feel good 70′s rock sounds. In fact, the entire record sounds as though it came from a past decade; it has the same laid-back vibe that so much of my warm-toned, dusty vinyl record collection contains.

Moving from one 6-minute+ track into another, “Red Feather” had me convinced that Houses kidnapped Carlos Santana (or at least his guitar tech). Trying to identify where I had heard that tone before drove me a little crazy. The Eagles? Dire Straights? Kansas? Neil Young? Perhaps in little bits, but I definitely feel like they’re channeling Santana on this track.

The EP’s closer is “Black Hawk,” a 7-and-a-half minute musical roller coaster. Kinsey Hamilton’s soft vocals meld with the reverb to form a slowly building intro. From the rather-chill beginnings, the song ebbs and flows into a ruckus guitar-drenched climax, ending soon thereafter.

While Fall is certainly a great listen and it definitely showcases the more instrumental side of Houses. There are no sing-alongs on this album, and the guitar-driven jams don’t behave as politely as tracks on the past two EPs did. I was a little surprised to not hear “Rainy Day Parade” or “Scone (Hangman’s Noose),” since both of those tracks have seen a bit of live-play from the group as of late. Perhaps they might make an appearance on Winter

Fall will be formally released this Saturday (November 14) at the Larimer Lounge with special guests Action Packed Thrill Ride! and The Knew. As a special treat we’ve got “Red Feather” here for your listening pleasure.

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2 comments for this entry:
  1. kynoceros

    How definite are you of the 70s feel good sounds of “Down To The River”? Could it in fact be the feel good sounds of a 1969 Crazyhorse song?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_by_the_River

  2. Tim Weilert

    yeah, perhaps “feel good” isn’t right word. it’s more like Crazyhorse meets CS&N with a more laid-back sound. (i did also think “Down by the River” when I saw “Down To The River”)

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