Unimagine by Hands Like Houses (Rise Records)
On Unimagine, Hands Like Houses soar into the rock and roll stratosphere, establishing a solid foundation for what is certain to be a long and brilliant music career. Ground Dweller, their debut for Rise Records, was certainly admirable and brought the Australian based band a good deal of worldwide attention, but Unimagine amps it all up to near epic proportions. Hands Like House establishes their own unique identity amongst the burgeoning Rise Records cadre of bands with Unimagine, and the eleven songs found within demonstrate a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and passion.
The journey into the raging reveries of Unimagine commences with Developments, a thrilling where one immediately notices the impassioned vocals of Trenton Todd Woodley as well as the massively inspired performances of each and every band member. “We don’t belong here,” the lyrics fire up with a thrilling sense of urgency on the explosive Introduced Species. Weight then envelopes your senses with its staggering dynamics and striking choruses.
Shapeshifters is grand and aggressive, an exhilarating track that should ignite a rousing response when performed live. The House You Built will rock off your foundation with its fiery guitar heroics and dazzling vocals inflections. A bit of respite in found in the gorgeously wistful A Tale Of Outer Suburbia, demonstrating just how powerful and effective Hands Like Houses can be with a power ballad. Oceandust then follows, heartfelt and tender beyond compare – although it’s the slowest song on the album, there is a stark intensity in the vocals rendering this one a standout. “I don’t want to pretend that I’m stronger for it all, I don’t want to pretend that the sadness is gone,” is the refrain that packs a devastating emotional punch.
“This is happiness” Woodley exclaims vibrantly on No Parallels, bringing the hard hitting rock back into focus with a strong sense of conviction. Fountainhead presents a watershed of pure rock infectiousness followed by the pulsating Wisteria. And then it’s the grand finale of A Fire On The Hill, epic in scope, showing Hands Like Houses at the very height of their musical creativity. “I don’t know where to begin,” the soaring chorus explodes like a sonic blaze of emotions.
There is a good deal of inspiration and intrigue to be found on Unimagine by Hands Like Houses. Noted producer James Paul Wisner (Underoath, Paramore, The Academy Is…) has brought out the very best in the band, and together they have created a timeless album that will be revered by music aficionados all over the world. The resourceful Hands Like Houses lineup consists of Trenton Todd Woodley on lead vocals, Matt Parkitney on drums and percussion, Jamal Sabet on keyboards, Matt “Coops” Cooper on lead guitar, Alexander Pearson on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, and Joel Tyrrell on bass and backing vocals. Be sure to check out Hands Like House on the remaining dates of the Vans Warped Tour.
(Review by Kenneth Morton – Live Photo by Talia Farber)
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