“Dissonants” by Hands Like Houses, Album Review

RR_287.jpgDissonants is the new album from Australian rock band Hands Like Houses, dropping Feb 26 via Rise Records. The album is the premiere of a new sound for the band, and makes a statement about how the band has transformed with their years of experience. Produced by James Paul (Paramore, Dashboard Confessional, Underoath), Dissonants has unique energy to it; confident, urgent, and even intimate at times. All while being welcoming to new ears. In addition, Dissonants says it loud and clear: Hands Like Houses are back and better than ever.

“I Am” is the leading track off the album, and is a one-song summary about what Dissonants is all about. It’s about challenging the band’s perceived image, introducing a new sound, and offering an introduction to what the new sound will be. Each song flows smoothly into the next, all surrounding that same theme: new album, new sound.

“It feels like not only a step forward but also a step to the right. We never want to make the same album twice but we also never want to leave anybody behind.”
– Lead Vocalist, Trenton Woodley

Dissonants draws influences from Linkin Park, Deft Tones, along with the inspirations of all the bands and artists Hands Like Houses has toured with. This list includes Silverstein, Pierce The Veil, Sleeping with Sirens, and more. The result is an album infused with the energy of a sold-out show. There’s that urgency, that passion, that boost of energy in all of the songs. Listening to Dissonance isn’t the same as being at a live show, but it generates that same feeling.

The feeling is probably in part due to the amazing instrumental combinations on the album. Most noticeably so are the guitar and bass. They play off of each other, creating and weaving melodies together. All of the instruments have that natural chemistry together, but the lead guitar and bass stand out the most; especially on “New Romantics” and “Glasshouse.”

The lyrics don’t feel intimate in the way that they’re sung. They feel like statements, meant for all the world to hear, and on a certain level they are. But it’s the topic and the way they’re phrased that makes the lyrics so intimate. Though the lyrics are just a surface aspect, and there are other things that will draw you in before the lyrics.

In the end, Dissonants makes many statements about the new direction and sound that Hands Like Houses is heading towards. It plays with different elements and influences to shape a new, more original sound. All through doing that, everything you loved about Hands Like Houses was not lost. It’s still there. So whether you’re a newbie to the band or a seasoned fan, odds are you’ll enjoy Dissonants.

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