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Hands Like Houses – Unimagine

Becci Stanley


Since the release of their smash hit Ground Dweller and Snow Sessions the band have been none stop touring with the likes of Slam Dunk festival, Pierce the Veil and Woe Is Me, and along the way putting their heart and soul into writing. The product of this is Unimagine, a beautiful testament to all their hard work.

Opening track Developments begins optimistically with the slow tinkling of synth before plunging into fast-fretting and high pitched guitar wails, it rises and falls throughout the song like a sea in turmoil to-ing and fro-ing between soft drums, keys and vocals, and powerful chords pounding against your ear drums.

Strongly juxtaposed is follow up track Introduced Species with an equally sci-fi beginning featuring bleeps and bloops of synth before group vocals and deliriously fast finger work on guitar. Weight and Wisteria are similar to this focusing all their merit on the powerful and dominating use of guitars and drums in unison with wailing vocals.

The House You Built completely contrasts this – it has an element of groove to it with the tempo of the guitars and the suave, sophisticated vocals along with romanticized lyrics. You are more likely to sway and shake your hips to this track than thrash around violently as you take the smooth grooves in. “A Tale Of Outer Suburbia” slows it down even further with the haunting combination of echoing vocals and technological sound effects before rising into an atmospheric boom of passion.

Oceandust, slows it down to the extreme, with chilling keys and breathy vocals weaving through your essence like a slight breeze on a hot summers day. Its climax is not massive but it is subtle and beautiful and ends poignantly on a single, mournful note.

No Parallels bumps the tempo straight back up with an almost pop-punk track with a sunny opening combined with infectious hooks from guitar and vocals alike, so fast paced its over in the blink of an eye, offering a burst of pure originality within the midst of much heartache and darkness.

Closing track Fire on a Hill begins with spooky voices and high pitched keys lulling you into a false sense of security before the storm hits, a whirlwind of metal-influenced guitars and speedy drums amongst heart melting vocals that gently weave towards the final, atmospheric and incredibly fitting climax of a perfectly crafted album.

In a music scene inundated with incredibly similar bands, Hands Like Houses have managed against the odds to create a truly stand out debut album that both stays firmly latched onto their roots but experiments quite successfully with elements previously untouched.