Album Review: House Vs Hurricane - 'Perspectives'

10 March 2010 | 12:18 pm | Staff Writer

Justifying the hype?

Australia is currently the fortunate. Never has heavy music enjoyed a brighter spot in the sun. In the past, you’d have a better time arguing that penguins could fly than contending there was a legitimate heavy scene down under. However, things change.

It can be put forward that young Melbourne up-starts House Vs Hurricane are the poster boys for this recent emergence and musical prosperity. Thus, the anticipation for debut album ‘Perspectives’ was always going to generate an equal level of interest.

If 2008’s EP ‘Forfeiture’ was promising, then debut offering ‘Perspectives’ is affirming. Let this release do a lap in your mind and you will appreciate its subtly and layered charm. On face value one could be forgiven for thinking this album is symptomatic of the metalcore syndrome afflicting many bands today. That is to say, albums predicated and marked by continuous repetition and clichéd song structures.

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Therefore, the question is raised: Are HVH another fish trying to fit into a small and already overcrowded pond?

Recorded in Baltimore, ‘Perspectives’ hits its peak early and sustains the delivery. ‘Off the Wall’, the album’s main highlight works well to isolate the HVH sound neatly into a four-minute dose of musical angst. Everything the band prides themselves on is self-evident and executed fluently – the throaty vocals, the precisely placed breakdown, and the catchy chorus.

Other notable tracks such as ‘We the Reserveless’ and ‘Lessons Learnt’ demonstrate the group’s potential with the juxtaposition of metalcore styled chugging and electronic sampling echoing the resonance of an Enter Shikari. It is this addition of keys that gives the band an understated depth, creating an atmospheric and ambient sub-tone.

To highlight one fault, it is at times certain songs amalgam to a point where there is a sense of sameness. As a general rule, the breakdown-laden structure can wear a little thin the longer an album runs.

‘Perspectives’ is sure to be one of 2010’s best local releases but let’s stop short of making any excessive and grandiose appraisals further to this claim.

We must be careful – yes, ‘Perspectives’ is representative of the youthful, brash and raw edge of a young band garnering critical local praise but it is not entirely flawless. There is still room for improvement. The foundations were laid with ‘Forfeiture’, the structures formed with ‘Perspectives’, let us now see what the final coating ends up looking like.

1. Leaps & Bounds

2. We the Reserveless

3. Lessons Learnt

4. Off the Wall

5. Experiences

6. So They Say

7. Complexing the Simple

8. Orphan

9. Positively Shifted

10. I. Sinister in Many Forms

11. II. Softlight

12. III. Nevermore