ALBUM REVIEW: Hands Like Houses // Dissonants


by: Emilee Aldridge


Release Date: February 26, 2016

Upon receiving this album as an assignment, I had to admit I was a bit weary. Hands Like Houses is not a band that I would typically put on a playlist. I am going to be honest, upon first listen, I was not a fan of Dissonants. Though I am a fan of rock music, when it gets to be borderline screamo I will most like turn it off. I was questioning if I was going to be able to write a constructive review of this album. However, I decided that it deserved another listen. I gave it a second listen. Then a third. And a fourth. I must say, Hands Like Houses may just be on the road to gaining another fan.

First things first- a 12-song album. Perfect length. 12-song record are perfect to review because, if they are cohesive, you have a strong sense of a beginning, middle, and end. A standout track towards the beginning, has to be “Colourblind”. This tune explores letting go of the distractions of the world in order to just be.

The midsection of the album is really what kept my interest. I found myself in awe of the overall instrumentation of each song.  I really enjoyed this section because it showcased lighter vocals, and stronger guitar features. “Division Symbols”, “Stillwater”, and “Momentary”are personal favorites on the album, as they leave me with a feeling of triumph.

In wrapping up the album, Dissonants evokes a variety of emotions. Confusion. Pain. Hope. Acceptance. This section of the album contains yet another standout track, as well as my personal favorite, “Motion Sickness”. I really dig this track because it is much lighter than the rest of the record. The intro almost reminds me of outer space, and the twinkling stars in the sky. I also appreciate how it delves into feeling confused about finding a place in the world. What really tied the entire song together was the underlying bass line, as a solid bass sound just knows how to leave a print on my heart.

Although Hands Like Houses are classified as a pop/rock band,this album explores different sides of their abilities, dipping into the scene/emo realm. The band’s talent is obvious. You can tell that they will be going somewhere, but it is hard to tell exactly where they want to go. As a relatively young band, I do not think it is such a bad thing to not have a clear direction just yet. Maybe Hands Like Houses will be one of those bands that cannot fit into any one genre. This may prove to be an advantage for the band, as they may be able to reach a wider variety of music fans. I am very interested to see where the band will be a year from now.

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