Album Review: Hands Like Houses – Dissonants

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 15.39.56We’re not usually the betting type, but we’d put good money on the phrase “well worth the wait” coming out of every single Hands Like Houses fan’s mouth over the next few months. To say this album has been highly anticipated would be an understatement—the buzz around the teaser tracks has already been incredible, with good reason. And this album does not disappoint. ‘Dissonants’ was produced by James Paul Wisner (Paramore, Underoath), who also worked on the band’s 2013 ‘Unimagine’, so you can expect an impressive sound and the highest quality with this release.

I Am opens the album in true Hands Like Houses style, so be prepared to open up the mosh pit early. This is a band that doesn’t mess around with filler tracks or meaningless lines—every word is carefully weighed, and every hook counts to pull you right in. Colourblind lands somewhere between PVRIS and You Me At Six, with a dash of Bring Me The Horizon, and it works brilliantly. The contrast between the echoing verses with the explosive choruses is a shock to the system, and the breakdown is epic in all sense of the word.

If you’re not completely hooked by the halfway mark, Division Symbols is seductive enough to pull you into its dark, wild world. “Drag me down with every word” takes on a whole new meaning, as you feel the physical pain of the song while falling deeper into the irresistible clutches of the record. The second half of the album somehow gets more anthemic, with the soaring highs of the likes of Motion Sickness adding an intensity that hits you like a crushing wave. Degrees of Separation keeps the emotions running high, set to a breakneck pace with both gang “woahs” and answering dual vocals to make up a sound so expansive you can already feel it filling stadiums.

In fact, the whole album is meant for huge arenas; ending with one of the album’s biggest anthems Bloodlines proves that with ease. “If I’m the broken hope of indecision / At least my future’s in my hands” is a chant that won’t leave you lightly, and you’ll end ‘Dissonants’ knowing with confidence this band’s future really is in capable hands, and it looks damn bright.

8/10

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Hands Like Houses – ‘Dissonants’

Release: 26.2.16 via Rise Records

Alex
A professional behind the scenes string-puller, in her spare time Alex is usually found spending all of her money in record stores or rocking out at shows. Pop punk is her true calling, peppered with a healthy dose of tv show marathons, and lots of iced tea.

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