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

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

HOUSTON

MECHANICAL SUNSHINE

RELEASED 2011

 

 

This one came out of nowhere for me and I haven't put it down yet. Hosuton (The Italians NOT the Swedish Melodic Rock act) has taken a genre that was in need of a new lease of life and given it just that. If you like a bit of Korn or Manson then these guys are worth checking out. Metal for sure but with enough hard rock sensibilities and a touch of Goth to keep it interesting. Cool Rob Zombie cover 'Dragula' too...

 

There's a lot going on in Italian music at the moment in all genres of rock and here's a band really worth a look if you like that Industrial Goth tinged metal. I must admit that it's not really my normal listening but some albums are just so well put together you forget the labels.

 

This is a great album. "Shine of The Rusty Gear" that opens leads the way and lays out the intent clearly, this isn't a second rate local act, this is clearly the real deal. Wailing guitars, monster heavy bass, kick-ass drums and some great vocals make a memorable tune that won't have you searching for the next track. It's a great passionate opener that is up with the best here. Think the melodic sensibilities of Nightwish with male vocals. "Planet Terror" edges into shaky lyrical territory but continues with the ass-kicking and can't fail to get that head banging. The semi-spoken lyric fits nicely and when the melody kicks in you can envision the pit flailing. Even the carousel-music breakdown works a treat!

 

There are moments of weakness though, "Mechanical Breath" a slower number, doesn't quite do it for me, but it's nice enough, just maybe needed a little more time cooking. On a positive note it's got some great guitars and shows that the band isn't afraid to experiment. "Black Rose" gets us back on track with some solid metal and insanely cool drums. It's another slower number "One Day" though that seals the sing-along 'arms in the air' moment, a very solid song that is as good as anything of its type out there. Love that solo too...

 

The good news is that we're only half way in and the best is arguably yet to come. "Generation '09" has an almost Sisters of Mercy vibe and were they still putting out albums I'd like to think they would sound a bit like this (not sure the drum machine would handle it though...). "Velvet Pressure" is another song with a big sound that could do so much with the right exposure. Some of my favourite moments though come in the latter stages: "Sick, Sex, Six" is a title you shouldn't attempt under the influence and is the coalesence of everything here but it has something more; catchy as hell. It's immediate predecessor "Truth About Me" which balances lightness and shade beautifully is also a sure-fire winner. Both are great songs that hint at much bigger things for the band.

 

"My Swedish Baby Looks Like a Star" may not only have the coolest title but may also be my favourite song here, though it's tough competition! The chorus and guitar is infectious. As we approach the end "Cold" is a nice ballad that shows another side to the band entirely, and it's well worth exploring.

 

Even though the cover of Rob Zombie's "Dragula" isn't strictly required it's still cool. Take a chance and look out a copy!

 

With bands on the scene like Houston, Hungryheart and Rising Wind (allbeit in very different genres) Italy should be proud...

 

 

By Mark Diggins