Hands Like Houses – Ground Dweller

Band: Hands Like Houses
Album: Ground Dweller
Release date: March 2012
Genre: Rock/ Experimental
Label: Rise Records

‘Ground Dweller’ is the debut album from the Austrialian experimental rock band Hands Like Houses.

The intro to opening track ‘Antarctica’ reminds me of some the soundtrack work by the electro-rock artist Celldweller. However the similarity ends as soon as the vocals kick in and true nature of the song is unmasked. Whilst there might be a hint of experimental music or even electronica this is mostly just radio-friendly rock. ‘Don’t Look Now, I’m Being Followed. Act Normal’ offers more of the same and whilst the guitars and keyboards work well there’s really nothing distinctive about this at all.

The electronics and overall ambience in ‘This Ain’t No Place For Animals’ bear a resemblance to Celldweller making the song stand out as one of the best and more unsual tracks on the album. The sample and keyboard intro to ‘Spineless Crow’ has a certain soundtrack feel to it whilst the husky vocals remind me of Muse. ‘A Clown and His Pipe’ offers some experimental guitar riffs and changes in vocal style making for a somewhat freaky twist to what is otherwise a fairly average rock song.

The atmospheric keyboard intro to ‘The Definition of Not Leaving’ gives the song a very tranquil feel which is complemented by the soft sounding electronics and the husky, almost whisper-like vocals. There’s something very soothing about this track. Another prominent track is the elecronica-infused ‘Watchmaker’ (feat. Matty Mullins) which highlights the full spectrum of the band’s experimental repertoire.

3/5 – Not bad but somewhat monotonous at times

Iza Raittila

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