[Album Review] Hands Like Houses – ‘Dissonants’

Aussie rockers Hands Like Houses are releasing their long-awaited new album tomorrow, February 26. Dissonants is the third full length from the band and it was produced by James Paul Wisner (Underoath, Paramore) once again, following his involvement on 2013’s Unimagine.

The record has a great repertoire of catchy, anthem-worthy tracks that are also heavily guitar driven with sick drum beats and just enough touch of electronics to make it sound unique; the vocals are on point also. Kicking off with “I Am” (the very song that introduced Hands Like Houses to me last year) we get punched right in the face by the burst of energy that lasts throughout the whole thing. “Perspectives” is definitely a big favourite and something to look forward to when seeing the band live.

The song that really set my excitement towards Dissonants was “Colourblind” – it’s been one I kept going back to ever since its premiere. The diversity and genre blending abilities of the band are showcased perfectly when it comes to “Glasshouse” and “Division Symbols” – one starting with a metal breakdown – the part I really love on “Grey Havens” as well – while the other is stronger on keys yet the two songs can still live together on the same album.

“How did we get so old and never noticed/How did we gain the world and lose the moment” – these lines from “Stillwater” have stuck with me. It reminds us to live for the present because no matter how hard you have fought to get to somewhere, you’ve lost out on precious memories on the way.

Breaking songs into pieces with each listen can lead to the discovery of great things that otherwise might have not come through. The playful guitar strumming during the verses of “Momentary” and the bass line in “Motion Sickness” are something I am quite stoked about for now. Its chorus makes “Degrees of Separation” fitting material to be the next single, otherwise it will go down the path of underrated songs – every record ever made has at least one.

The grand finale of the album flows via “Bloodlines.” The gang vocals got me once again, and the lyrics are my ultimate favourites on this one. “Just by killing time, we kill ourselves (my way)” – love the stubbornness in this.

The majority of artists and bands I am listening to lately have all moved down the pop path (or have already been there). This has also formed what sounds I prefer more these days, so it was very refreshing to me personally to hear a record that is pure rock that gets back to the roots. Comment sections on new releases are full with stuff like, “This is not rock enough” blah blah blah…well with Dissonants you clearly get what’s been missing, and this is the reason I highly recommend it.

Dissonants is out tomorrow via Rise Records! Buy it now!


Dóra Udvardi

Dóra Udvardi

Writer. Photographer. Admirer of Arts.