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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world





house of lords review


Release date:
Europe: September 23rd 2011 / USA: September 27th 2011

Tracklisting: Big Money, One Man Down, First To Cry, Searchin’, Someday When, Livin’ In A Dream World, The Next Time I Hold You, Run For Your Life, Hologram, Seven, Once Twice, Blood. Includes multimedia bonus video:“Someday When”.


Huge drums, a great riff and a voice that reminds us that money is the root of all evil opens the CD with a song that sounds like vintage HOL: we can’t go far wrong surely? Well kind of…


With a pedigree that will always gain a certain level of attention HOL has produced some great albums post Greg Giuffria, and their last outing “Cartesian Dreams” really hit the spot. The title track “Big Money’” makes all the right noises but fails to set the world completely ablaze and it’s not until you get into the real meat of the new album that you really connect. “One Man Down” starts nicely enough with a smattering of acoustic before the bombast and trademark harmonies kick in, but it’s still a little ‘by numbers’


It’s not until the third track “First To Cry” that you feel that there may be something special here: it’s dripping with melody, cut through with great guitar and smelling distinctly of some of the great sing along anthems of eighties rock. “Someday When” is the way melodic rock should sound: plaintiff, beautifully arranged and very reminiscent of say, Foreigner. It’s a standout, and incidentally also the bonus video. James is beautifully understated and Jimi Bell adds some great guitar against some nice keys. It’s lighter than the last outing but nicely arranged.


“Searchin’” again is one of those songs that engages you without really glowing bright, and I guess it is part of the story of the album: some really great songs interspersed with some nice but non essential cuts. The Heavier “Someday When” is more in keeping with the vibe of say “Power and the Myth” which had a distinct 70’s rock vibe with a little more gloss and its really not until “Living in a Dream World” that the band seems to hit their stride.


“The Next Time I Hold You” is a ballad that makes you realise that every rock band should have a ballad because sometimes you get a gem. As a song it’s a little understated and a little clichéd but it works so well with those keys cutting through!


Listening to ‘Big Money’ I realise how much I prefer this incarnation of House of Lords to even the original incarnation of the band, the sound may be largely the same but there’s so much more depth these days and the songs just seem to hook you more effectively. “Run For Your Life” ups the tempo and ends up as a highlight for me at least. You aren’t hearing anything that you haven’t heard before and HOL are never going to bother the Billboard charts, but they can still put together songs of a certain ilk that make you nod appreciatively that someone is still raising the flag for this kind of music and showing the current generation how it’s done.


“Hologram” is probably the song that most wins me over and is beautifully realised with the whole band hitting the spot. Just as I’ve said that though comes “Seven” a nice rocker that will have you singing along. “Once, Twice” that closes is also a strong contender, a little harder but perfectly constructed. Actually scratch that earlier comment, the chorus here wins it for me.    


With an album of this nature it’s always a little hard to gauge the target market. HOL fans will be well pleased, though in my opinion this doesn’t touch the peaks of their last outing. It’s still a great melodic rock album that leaves so many others in its wake. There’s probably nothing here that will completely blow you away but almost everything will bring a smile to your face. And while melodic rock may not be one of the most fashionable of genres HOL proves that under certain weather conditions and in a certain light there’s nothing to beat it…   


By Mark Diggins