There is an atmospheric sound coming from Hands Like Houses’ new album Dissonants. This full-length album is self-assured, loud, and confident; it is everything to love about music.
The dynamics of Thrice, the moody vibes from Deftones, and the heart-on-sleeve ambition from Thursday have influenced this Australian group. From schoolmates to an international rock band, Hands Like Houses have been hard-hitting stages all over the world. They have played Warped Tour twice and have toured with Pierce the Veil, Sleeping With Sirens, A Day to Remember, and The Amity Affliction, to name a few.
“We spend our life on the road, where playing live has shown us not only which songs the crowd is most responsive to, but also which songs we enjoy playing the most,” lead vocalist Trenton Woodley explains. “This album captures so much of that intense energy.”
Hands Like Houses collaborated with producer James Paul Wisner—who has worked with Paramore and Dashboard Confessional—to create the urgent-sounding, diverse, full-length album.
“I Am,” the first track on Dissonants, is strong and adrenaline pumping. The guitar and drum build-up at the beginning of the song is heavy, along with Woodley’s powerful vocals. Listening to this head-banging song was like jumping around in a mosh pit. As the album plays out, each track sounds more and more powerful, distinctly showcasing each members true talents.
The skilled guitar at the beginning of “New Romantics” gave me the same feeling I get during the introduction music before a concert while “Glasshouse” starts off with a techno and atmospheric vibe with an incredible transition into melodic metal core. Then we get to “Division Symbols” which includes an interchanging of screams to a softer voice around the bridge of the song, one of my favorite parts of the album.
“Stillwater” starts off with strong drumming until Woodley’s mystical voice comes in. Although this upbeat and loud song steers away from serenity, the lyrics are inspired by the innocence of childhood. Woodley explains, “we were younger and we had no idea of what was possible. So much of what we did was just by doing, without thinking about what was ahead or what was possible.” With the cascading guitar, Woodley’s raspy voice screams at the end of the song with an overwhelming amount of passion.
The beginning of “Degrees of Separation” is full of momentum with the echo of backing vocals. I listened to this song multiple times—one to hear the song in its entirety, another to hear the instruments, and another to listen to the lyrics. I found myself dancing and singing along to this upbeat melody.
The last track on the album, “Bloodlines,” starts off with a strong drum kick in the chest. Woodley’s voice is smooth with the harmonies of the backing vocalists in the verses, but builds up during the choruses while the bridge leads into a soft strumming of guitar and a chorus of echoing voices.
Hands Like Houses is a metal-core, alternative rock group that leads with confidence. Every song off Dissonants explores the melancholy depth of life with hard-hitting instruments and voices. This twelve-track album portrays enthusiasm, juxtaposed with powerful emotion.
Release Date: February 26, 2016
Run time: ~45 minutes
Ultimate Jams: “Perspectives,” “Momentary,” “Motion Sickness”
1. I Am
4. New Romantics
6. Division Symbols
9. Motion Sickness
10. Degrees of Separation
11. Grey Havens
Written by Kelly Peacock