Thursday, August 02, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 64 : The House of Love - House of Love

Album - The House of Love
Artist - The House of Love
Key Players - Guy Chadwick - lead vocals, guitar. Pete Evans - drums. Chris Groothuizen - bass, vocals. Terry Bickers - guitar. (the cd has no liner notes and most places I checked I could not confirm certain members were on board).
Produced By - House of Love w/Stephen Hague and Dave Meegan

Release Date - Late 1989 - early 1990.

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Per the norm not even really sure. It was crunch time and I needed to pull something off the shelf. This record got a LOT of spins my freshman year of college.

Overview - This is the bands second album but also their second "self tittled" album. Formed after leader Guy Chadwick placed an ad looking for members in "Melody Maker" the band would generate a ravenous underground following.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) The album opener, and longest track on the album "Hannah" starts things off. A single guitar with some heavy chorus strums out a few chords before the other guitars and bass follow suit. The drums come up softly as well but the song slowly builds. As the breathy vocals come in its not long before the band hits down harder and the song comes full circle. The formula is repeated again, but its not a horrid repetition. One of the radio singles "Shine On", follows. The prior song hardly fades as it begins. The sound from the guitars and bass is very clear. There are not a lot effects on the instruments. The vocals are clear and punchy. It is very easy to understand what Chadwick is singing. Fans of "alternative" music from this time will notice a trademark sound, the guitars, bass and drums are all a collective, rather than one being more dominant that the other. With hardly stop again "Beatles and the Stones" begins. Early portions of the track are spoken bits, and sound bites of Beatles and Rolling Stones moments. A single guitar opens the music. The lyrics are given in a hush tone, there are strings and a simple brush driven drum line. Opening with a heavier drum beat "Shake and Crawl" comes up. The guitar gets a lot of punch and the drums are hit pretty hard (well so far for this record). The floor toms give it a strong marching feel. "Hedonist" has a fun, bouncy feel to it. The sound almost much like what the Farm had on "Groovy Train" if you will. It has chimes in the back but just over all "feel" of the track is of fun. The real shining moment on the record comes in the form of "I Don't Know Why I Love You", which is probably the bands most mainstream "hit". The guitars, the has it all. Check the download to hear for yourself. The guitar works rings out with a final chime, then drops off. Bells and "conga" drums open "Never", which opens right up as an uptempo foot tapper. The song is sung rather quickly compared to the other tracks to this point. The guitars play wonderfully off one another. A somewhat somber "Someone's Got to Love You" finds the band toned down. The vocals are sung deep and the band never really gets going. "In a Room" room makes up for all that. Everything is just "faster" on this track and a lot more fun. The guitars crunch as the vocals again are sung a pretty swift pace. As the band builds to the chorus they are really firing off one another. We slow it down some for "Blind". It is a pretty song but somewhat generic at the same time. Acoustic and Electric guitars open "32nd Floor" and plug along until the drums lock down in a groove. The album closes with a start/stop track called "Se Dest". There are some real shining musical moments in this track, after the first verse comes to mind. A great album closer.

Where are they now? The band would release a few records after this, but never lived up to the hype, or their own expectations. Chadwick and Bickers wold get involved with drugs and alcohol and slag one another off in the press. By December of 1989 Bickers was no longer in the band. The band will be re-issuing the debut album in September of 2007. With all that, Bickers and Chadwick have resolved their issues and are working on new material.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I thought I saw the band live once, but i can't confirm that. If I saw them it would have been as an opener probably for a Fontana (their label at the time) doing a multi band tour (Catherine Wheel perhaps)?

FDF Overall Take - In one review I saw on a site someone went so far as to say "If the band didn't fight they could have been the most important band of the last ____ years". Often times its interesting to go back to these records that were once "alternative" to what the mainstream was. Nowadays things feed off the past so much as many say you have to remember they may not have been the best at it, but they did it a long time ago. If you are looking for some decent, sometimes shoegaze meets jangle pop, House of Love will do the trick (if you can find any of the stuff)

A very outdated Official Site.
A very good fan site

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

***Mp3's have been removed Sept 27, 2007 1:30 ET****
I Don't Know Why I Love You

This album is currently out of print. If you so desire, look for a used copy.

Here are some bonus live tracks. These were taken from the John Peel Sessions 1988-1989.

In a Room

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the best bands


Post a Comment

<< Home