Review: Hands Like Houses- Dissonants

Some bands that fuse together different styles of rock… shouldn’t. But when done correctly, it can produce innovative and beautiful discographies. One of the most successful examples of an up-and-coming group that has created their own medley, Hands Like Houses, has been hard at work, hitting the road and recording their newest release, Dissonants. Undaunted by a major lineup change, these rockers continue build upon the best of their sound, giving us their most comprehensive record yet.

Inevitable in the evolution of an artist’s (or band’s) sound is the eventual branching out in terms of style and genre. For Hands Like Houses, Reimagine was this dip into a new sound. This EP was a huge success and brought the band huge respect in the industry, but even more importantly, it opened up the door for them to try new things in their writing. Revisiting their roots and going back to basics in Reimagine provided the perfect platform for the amazing work behind Dissonants.

If you felt as though Unimagine was just a little too hard, you’ll be thrilled with the new direction Hands Like Houses has taken. There’s still the same energy in their sound, but it’s communicated as strength, rather than aggression. There’s absolutely no uncertainty in this album; these guys knew what they were going for, and they executed it.

With lead singer Trenton Woodley taking Jamal Sabet’s former post on keyboards, concerns may have been raised over the frontman being spread too thin. Any fears have been completely quelled, however, by the total mastery of the vocals on the album. The lyrics are clever and piercing, revealing new levels of depth. Absolutely nothing slips through the cracks; Woodley give us exactly what was needed to push the record to the next level for these guys.

There’s a massive amount of diversity on Dissonants, truly offering something for everyone. If you’re looking for pop punk without the aggression, “Motion Sickness” is for you. In need of something dramatic enough to belt in your car, but peppy enough to run to? Try “10 Degrees of Separation” or “I Am” on for size. A fresh perspective? “New Romantics.” Yet even with these different moods, there’s a complex cohesiveness often only seen in artists who have been in the game for awhile. Every track blends beautifully with the next, creating an experience out of an album.

Adding Dissonants has created a valuable new component to Hands Like Houses’ discography: mass appeal. There’s enough pop to attract even the gentlest of rockers, but enough edge to keep the harder fans interested. An absolute bulls eye, it’s a total possibility this album will skyrocket Hands Like Houses into a new level of popularity.

Rating: 8/10

-Kelly Fox