Australia’s Hands Like Houses burst onto the scene last year after an impressive debut on Rise Records. It was not the typical release you would expect from Rise – rather, it was a breath of fresh air. Recently, Hands Like Houses have released a follow up, continuing their own take on rock music without normal hard rock staples like the familiar breakdown.
As soon as the second song, “Introduced Species,” comes in, it is apparent the band have already evolved in the course of about a year. The guitar work, though it has never been shabby, is more varied and “out there” than on last year’s Ground Dweller. Vocalist Trenton Woodley happens to know what vocal range works for him, and assaults each track with passionate vocals. Though there is a familiar style of vocal in about each track, it is not much of an issue because of Woodley’s unique delivery and pipes.
The beginnings of the songs on this release are more exciting for the listener than prior work. Atmospheric guitars build up excitement and get the song(s) rolling. “Wisteria” is the most instrumentally ambitious of the album, as it utilizes keyboard more than any other track on the album and has the catchiest instrumental intro.
Hands Like Houses have decided to gamble with rock music standards and produce something of their own. Though they are a young group, it seems they have a good grip on what works and what does not. Unimagine as a whole is not without some flaws (“Oceandust,” “No Parallels”). However, flaws do not negate the tremendous instrumental talent and impressive vocals this outfit has to offer. In a scene surrounded by breakdowns, Hands Like Houses have stuck to their guns and delivered more experimental rock to the masses. Their artistic integrity has paid off.
You can purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.