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Hands Like Houses - Ground Dweller Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 8.75
Lyrics 10
Production 7.75
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 9.5
Final Verdict: 90%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.85
Musicianship 7.6
Lyrics 7.9
Production 6.58
Creativity 6.98
Lasting Value 7.18
Reviewer Tilt 7.35
Average: 73%
Inside AP.net

Hands Like Houses - Ground Dweller

Reviewed by: Niko John (03/10/12)
Hands Like Houses - Ground Dweller
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: March 13th, 2012


I have a challenge to anyone reading this review. I challenge you to find a better debut album then Hands Like Houses Ground Dweller. Go on, do it. I dare you. I double dog dare you. Hands Like Houses has created a debut album that exudes polish and talent. You would normally see this level of workmanship from a veteran band; one with ten years of experience and three albums under their belt. To think that Hands Like Houses has achieved this level of musicianship with just their first album is astounding.

Trenton Woodley doesn't just knock the vocals out of the park; he smashes the ball out of the stratosphere and sets that fucker on fire. Taking a cue from vocalists Tyler Carter and Johnny Craig (who, coincidentally, both do guest vocals for the song "Lion Skin" on Ground Dweller) he easily matches both of them, if not exceeding them, in ability. The choice to not include screams in the album was perfect because Trenton can easily hold the album up by himself. He is also accompanied by the best lyrics I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. Every word in Ground Dweller
is so intellectually written. "Streets, these visions, an origami city folding in/Construction, creation, we are architects and kings/Lifting street stones from their beds to build these homes from memory/As we’re tangled in our sleep" Perfection. Every lyric is so smart, yet not so complex that you don't understand the meaning behind each song.

Creativity wise, Hands Like Houses has decided to not create a new genre, or re-invite any sort of musical wheel. Instead what they have done is combined elements from the genres, post-hardcore and alternative rock. Taking influences from bands Emarosa and Broadway in the post-hardcore side and The Receiving End of Sirens in the alternative rock end, Hands Like Houses has imagined and put forth, a fusion of these two genres, creating a fun and dynamic listening experience.

There isn't much wrong with Ground Dweller. Besides a slight lack of creativity, Hands Like Houses has made a damn near perfect debut album. The vocals are off the charts, the lyrics are the best I have ever seen and the instrumentals are almost as impressive as the vocals. Ground Dweller is already a serious contender for Album of the Year in my book. Although, since Ground Dweller is so perfect, I can't possibly imagine how they will be able to top it with their sophomore release. I guess we will have to wait and see; and wait I shall. With pent up breath and Ground Dweller on repeat for the next six months.

Recommended If You LikeEmarosa, Broadway, Saosin, The Receiving End of Sirens

LinksMyspace, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, MerchNow

Track Listing1. Antartica
2. Don't Look Now, I'm Being Followed. Act Normal
3. This Ain't No Place For Animals
4. Spineless Crow
5. Starving to Death In The Belly of the Whale
6.A Clown and His Pipe
7. The Definition of Not Leaving
8. Lion Skin (feat. Tyler Carter & Johnny Craig)
9. One Hundred
10. Watchmaker (feat. Matty Mullins)
11. The Sower


 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 20.
04:15 PM on 03/14/12
#2
cheesypepsi
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I gave this album a little lower score, but I still agree with your points. Only thing is that I think you messed up on the band members' names, but hey if you're right then I'm wrong ;).

Well-written review, regardless.
06:28 PM on 03/14/12
#3
Niko John
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I gave this album a little lower score, but I still agree with your points. Only thing is that I think you messed up on the band members' names, but hey if you're right then I'm wrong ;).

Well-written review, regardless.
Thanks! :) You made some nice points as well in your review. I think you are right about the vocalist name, so to avoid further mess ups, I just played it safe and changed it to "The vocalist".
08:30 PM on 03/14/12
#4
cheesypepsi
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I wrote on their facebook page and the band corrected some stuff that I had wrong. The vocalist's name is Trenton; Jamal plays keys.
09:03 PM on 03/14/12
#5
(l,k)
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very promising band but this is only above average to me and i think you overrated it a lot. the main problem being he sounds better than jonny craig and tyler carter. not only was their part so small its not a fair comparison, the poor production drowns out everyone's voices
03:33 PM on 03/15/12
#6
Niko John
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very promising band but this is only above average to me and i think you overrated it a lot. the main problem being he sounds better than jonny craig and tyler carter. not only was their part so small its not a fair comparison, the poor production drowns out everyone's voices
You are right. The parts were incredibly small, but I wasn't comparing Trentons voice to Tyler and Johnny on the album, but comparing them as singers in general. The production, through headphones, isn't as good as it is through straight up speakers also.
04:40 PM on 03/15/12
#7
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well this only opinion but i think trenton is good but he hasnt yet shown the range of tyler or jonny yet, but then again, i only listened twice through the album. i was just blasting lion skin in my car and it did sound better but obviously still not adequate
05:35 PM on 03/15/12
#8
renzenkuken
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They sound pretty solid but... their sound and structure is a little too similar to TREOS'.
11:43 AM on 03/17/12
#9
Erik Bihl
Vocals/Guitar in Comfort In Decay
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I have only heard two songs one was awesome but the other one was to much synth . This is something i will check out!
05:02 PM on 03/17/12
popo
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I like the sound, but their sense of variety is lacking at times. I get burned out after 3/4 of the album, since I feel the tracks start to sound too samey. I know they're capable of creating something pretty outstanding, but this isn't it. It's good, though.
08:42 PM on 03/17/12
iam1bearcat
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wow. holy massive praise Batman!

best debut album ever? holy smokes. big words. i previewed a few songs on youtube / amazon and enjoyed them, but certainly didn't find it instantly amazing. still debating a purchase, however some other debuts that i think are pretty damn terrific:

The Killers, Arcade Fire, The Shins, Glassjaw, Portugal the Man...

if i get this album i'll have to remember to come back to this review in 5 years to see how i feel about it then haha
07:02 AM on 03/18/12
Niko John
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I like the sound, but their sense of variety is lacking at times. I get burned out after 3/4 of the album, since I feel the tracks start to sound too samey. I know they're capable of creating something pretty outstanding, but this isn't it. It's good, though.
Yeah, I hear what you are saying and I do admit to your points that the songs can feel a bit samey towards the end of the album.
07:03 AM on 03/18/12
Niko John
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wow. holy massive praise Batman!

best debut album ever? holy smokes. big words. i previewed a few songs on youtube / amazon and enjoyed them, but certainly didn't find it instantly amazing. still debating a purchase, however some other debuts that i think are pretty damn terrific:

The Killers, Arcade Fire, The Shins, Glassjaw, Portugal the Man...

if i get this album i'll have to remember to come back to this review in 5 years to see how i feel about it then haha
Well if those are the bands you like then of course you aren't going to like HLH xD not that your bands are bad, but they just have way different sounds then Hands Like Houses. Also I didn't say it was the best debut album ever, I said I thought it was the best debut album this year.
05:50 PM on 03/19/12
iam1bearcat
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Well if those are the bands you like then of course you aren't going to like HLH xD not that your bands are bad, but they just have way different sounds then Hands Like Houses. Also I didn't say it was the best debut album ever, I said I thought it was the best debut album this year.
not to nitpick since i know what you mean, but you never state best debut "of this year" your first paragraph says:

"I have a challenge to anyone reading this review. I challenge you to find a better debut album then Hands Like Houses Ground Dweller. Go on, do it. I dare you. I double dog dare you.
Hands Like Houses has created a debut album that exudes polish and talent. You would normally see this level of workmanship from a veteran band; one with ten years of experience and three albums under their belt. To think that Hands Like Houses has achieved this level of musicianship with just their first album is astounding"

nothing there that says "of 2012" that reads, "of all bands ever", just an FYI.

i have nothing against this "type" of music, whatever type it is, as i have a wide variety of tastes, i was just a bit shocked by that opening paragraph, that is all.
02:12 PM on 03/22/12
Ed219
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like this album a lot
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