House of Fools – Live and Learn (CD)

House of Fools plays a weird brand of emo music, where soulful vocals in a dreamy vein blend with an electronic sound scape. This is the case with the shambling “Better Part of Me”. At some points, it sounds as if there are two different songs going; luckily, House of Fools are like Bright Eyes when it comes to tying disparate elements together, and that is why the act is able to call this track a success. The production of House of Fools’ “Live and Learn” is perfect and allows the band to shine through with all they can. There is something here for fans of Rusted Root, Counting Crows, and the shoegazer pop of a prior period.

“Live and Learn” is a House of Fools track that seems to have a lot of its vocal influence be from the Panic! At The Disco side of things, even though the instrumentation present on the track is much more organic than anything that Panic! could create. The high note of the tack comes in the Queen meets My Chemical Romance guitar lines that are present at points during this song. The extended instrumental section that acts as a differentiation between the two parts of “Live and Learn” is another high part, as it gives that much authority to everything else that follows on the track. The track cracks the five minute mark with a rousing guitar arrangement that gives listeners that much more energy to listen to the rest of the disc.

“My Life Before Today” is a track that plays on earlier styles of alternative rock, pulling together the disparate influences of Matthew Sweet and Duran Duran. What results is something that is a logical evaluation of “Adam’s Song” and 2005-era Good Charlotte. The style is catchy while still having a little gravitas that will allow listeners to properly be sated by the band. Again, it only takes House of Fools a few minutes and the instrumentation takes its rightful role as equal to the vocals present on the track; the band is really an act that gives more than a passing thought to how their different pieces work together. House of Fools is an act that could fuel on an entirely new wave of Drive-Thru acts; it will be interesting to see how this band evolves and ionfluences acts down the road. I have little doubt that their star has miles to go up in regards to popularity.

Top Tracks: Kiss The Haze, Live and Learn

Rating: 6.6/10

House of Fools – Live and Learn / 2007 Drive-Thru / 14 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/houseoffools / http://www.drivethrurecords.com / Reviewed 16 February 2007

[JMcQ]

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