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

House of Lords

Cartesian Dreams

House of Lords (HOL) are a very different animal to the one that emerged after the demise of Giuffria. Having not seen them before live I was very impressed when they played Rocklahoma 2008. Needless to say I rushed to catch up and whilst there was a mixed bag of back releases to wade through the latest effort at that time Come to My Kingdom was particularly impressive.

And Cartesian Dreams is much better than that! This is a harder edged HOL, it's melodic, sure but it has a much heavier groove. The opener Cartesian Dreams really lays down the template for the CD, a thrusting stomping number that chains its melody to a deceptively heavy guitar lead. The song is also wonderfully crafted and will probably have you singing along (if no one else is around). Nice drums too.

Well with that track out of the way the rest of the album continues in a similar vein. I've never really known where I stand on keyboards, in the 80's let’s face it they sounded a bit naff, and some CDs from that time have a sound that instantly recalls a moment in time. HOL use the instrument to elevate, punctuate and enhance their songs (i.e. in a good way). Born to Be Your Baby is a sing along rocker that refreshingly isn't a Bon Jovi cover. It's a good song and could be a great song if the hook was just a little less awkward.

One of the things that most impressed me about HOL at ROK 2008 was the vocalist. I had never seen James Christian before and he was superb, on this release he is clearly on the top of his form and loving it. The rest of the band is a tight as ever and altogether it’s a wonderful performance by all.

The next song Desert Rain has what may be the most unlikely openings of all time George Bush Jr. over a didgeridoo. The song itself is great and probably one of my favourite on the CD, a great inspirational rocker that seems to be calling for the people of the free world to stop desert rain (bloody global warming!). OK so I was a little confused about what the lyrics were trying to say (presumably about Iraq) and the didgeridoo just threw me completely. The song? Imagine a much harder Nelson and you'll have an idea of the melodies, but it rocks along at a nice pace.

Sweet September is a nice ballad. I’m only four songs in and I'm starting to realise this is a great album that really deserves a listen even if ‘melodic’ is not your normal cup of tea. Surely you would be hard pushed to find a release of this quality in the melodic rock arena this year?

Bangin’ provides an unintended moment of light relief (I’m sure) someone should tell Americans what Bangin’ is all about… Great song though. I just love the way James managed to use the word ‘acquiesce’ in the song then break into a chorus that promises that: “never am I gonna stop bangin’ bangin’’” Plenty of banging going on there…

One of the things I most like about this album is that it just keeps on at a consistently impressive level. Not a dud on here to my ears. A Simple Plan is a sweet song that really catches light when the guitar kicks in, it’s mid-paced stuff but refreshingly, um simple.

Never Look Back whacks in some keys in the intro and is a little different for HOL. A bit more of a modern progressive feel, it’s a grower. The Bigger They Come, Repo Man, Saved by Rock and Joanna are all great rocking tracks. Joanna has to be one of the best on the album. This is classic House of Lords.

The Train is a bonus track on the European release; to be honest I don’t get this whole bonus track thing really. You spend months looking for obscure Japanese bonus tracks, or European bonus tracks or like I used to you wait to see which territory gets most bonus tracks then buy an import only to be disappointed (and weeks late in actually getting to listen to your CD). Does the money really end up in the pockets of the artists? What do you think? It’s a nice track but not essential. Stick your bonus tracks on your website and you’ll sell more copies to waverers than you will to completists.

And finally, because I know you’ve all been wondering: what you may ask is a Cartesian Dream? Well if you’re up on your philosophy you will know of Descartes’ notion that the whole of our experience may well be nothing but a dream.

I doubt very much you will be disappointed with this one.


Catch House of Lords on tour you lucky Europeans and especially inhabitants of Ossett!

Cartesian Dreams the new CD is out in Europe on September 18th, House of Lords will be touring the UK and Europe in support:

31.10.2009 - FRA, Rockalies Festival - Saint Martin de Fontenay (Caen)
01.11.2009 - UK, The Cavern - Liverpool
04.11.2009 - UK, JB's - Dudley
05.11.2009 - UK, Yardbirds, Grimsby
06.11.2009 - UK, The Corporation - Sheffield
07.11.2009 - GER, Obermarchtal - Kreuz
08.11.2009 - GER, Munich - Garage
11.11.2009 - GER, Hamburg - Ballroom
12.11.2009 - ITA, Trofarello – Il Peocio
13.11.2009 - ITA, Ronchi Dei Legionari - Rock Club
14.11.2009 - ITA, Mozzate, Motorockas
15.11.2009 - ITA, Festival - Soundtrack Arcene Bergamo
18.11.2009 - GER, Frankfurt, Sinkasten
20.11.2009 - NED, Weert, De Bosuil
21.11.2009 – UK. Ossett, Wrestling
22.11.2009 – UK, Rock Of Ages, Swansea
24.11.2009 – UK, Barnstaple, The Underground
25. 11.2009 – BEL, Antwerp, Derots
26. 11.2009 – GER, Lubeck, Riders Cafe
27. 11.2009 – GER, Live Club Wendlingen (Stuttgart)
28.11.2009 – CZ – Zlin, Masters of Rock
29.11.2009 – SWI – Pratteln, Z7
02.12.2009 – SWE, Stockholm, Harry B. James
04.12.2009 - SWE, Sala, Rockland
05.12.2009 – SWE, Trollhättan, Backstage
07.12.2009 – USA, Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Casino