Friday, 23 September 2011

Houses Blow Away...The House

Having seen this new band from Amsterdam a few times I am impressed by the quality of their songs and convincing performance. After releasing an EP last year Houses signed a record deal and are now releasing their début album Clean Life. So we headed to their release party in Paradiso.

Houses at Paradiso Amsterdam, 19 September 2011 (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)

And that new album sounds great. It holds a few songs from the EP but for the rest they are all new songs. It breaths the same atmosphere as their live performances: dynamic warm songs with the powerful vocals of Ella van der Woude. The front woman of the band is definitely the one that carries the band on stage. That's not any different tonight. She's the one in the spot lights. Her charismatic appearance together with her great voice draws most of the attention. She impresses even more when she walks away from the mic in 'Black Clothes' and sings a few lines without it.

But the rest of the band should not be forgotten. All are skilled musicians and are important building blocks for the sound of the band. The heavy Hammond sound, the playful guitar licks that sometimes turn into walls of noise and the solid bass groove. And last but not least the great drum sound of Tobias Ponsioen. His drumming style is solid and loose and he knows what a song needs: soft cymbal ticks and a whispering snare in slow, quiet parts, and heavy beats with rolling fills in loud parts. This all adds to the dynamics that are even more evident on stage.

With a sold out room full of fans it turns into a strong performance. The band members seem to be overwhelmed themselves by this response, although this is not directly obvious on stage. There they put down a professional, focused and convincing show. Houses prove tonight they are more than ready to play larger clubs in the low lands. Their international sound and skills should get them far. The future is looking bright for this promising band.

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