House on a Hill – Ladyslipper (CD)

The emotive guitar work that starts off “Arcadia” really does more to establish a voice for House on a Hill than any type of melodramatic, over the top type of warbling could do for a comparable emo band. The band seems to be influenced heavily by the mid to late nineties emo acts, taking cues from acts like Jets to Brazil and the Appleseed Cast. Nowhere on “Ladyslipper” does the band seem to be resting on the names of their influences; this ambitious work is really their own baby through and through, even if an individual can hear hints of other acts.

While one ay say that it is ambitious to start off a disc with a five minute plus track (the aforementioned “Arcadia”), House on a Hill keeps throwing different pitches at the listener to not allow a creeping sense of repeat to pervade a listener’s senses early. The slightly-sixty type of sound that is dominating during “Gypsy” really meshes well a different-sounding, innovative guitar track that is really the second focus of the track. House on a Hill really strike it big with the interplay of their instrumentation on this disc, this is the stuff that individuals should call labyrinthine, if not downright inspired. The same disregard for insipid and uninspired rock continues with “Youtomeismetoyou”, a track that has so many things going on in its four-minute runtime that listeners could conceivably listen to just this track on repeat for ten times and still not get all of what House on a Hill is doing here.

Couple that with an extroverted sound for the track that practically anyone can pick up and like, and House on a Hill has another unqualified hit. If House on a Hill never makes it big, I have no doubt that the complexity of their arrangements on “Ladyslipper” will wow enough individuals critically to be considered a classic. The dominant vocals that move in and out of the limelight during “Playing a Part” really give the track an suave coolness that it rides to its inevitable conclusion a few short minutes later. Each of the songs on “Ladyslidder’ bring something slightly new to the equation that is House on a Hill; while the band could succeed in today’;s current single-heavy radio market, one ought listen to this entire disc to full get an appreciation for the band. Never boring, House on a Hill comes out of nowhere to rock, inspire, and otherwise titillate their listeners.

Top Tracks: G.A.N., Arcadia

Rating: 7.0/10

House on a Hill – Ladyslipper / 2005 Buttermilk / 12 Tracks / http://www.houseonahillband.com / http://www.buttermilkrecords.com / Reviewed 07 February 2006

[JMcQ]

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