Exclusive: Life On The Sideline EP announcement, music video premiere

Since releasing Honesty Is A Dying Breed two years ago, Life On The Sideline has remained active on the road and is now ready to unveil its upcoming EP, Never Settle. To kick things off, we're premiering the music video for the band's new single, "Echo", which tells the sad story of a young girl reminiscing times spent with her deceased partner. While not a pop punk song per se, it's as catchy as one with an infectious chorus that you'll inevitably get stuck in your head. The band's sound could be compared to that of Transit's and The Early November's. Fans can pre-order the EP on iTunes and CD here, before it's released on June 7th. […]

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: Housing - "Empathy" EP

Release Info Housing - Empathy EP
Release Date: May 19th, 2015
Record Label: Mutant League Records
Pre-order: Vinyl, Merch

With their debut EP, Empathy, on Mutant League records, Housing delivers five solid tracks that hit just shy of greatness. The band is tight and there is some beautifully executed instrumentation performed throughout these tunes. The drumming really stands out throughout the EP as being excellent at all times, adding greatly, sometimes in very subtle but important ways. Lyrically, the record also stands out as being well above your average local band.

“Novocain” is a great introduction to the record that suffers from an elongated outro. If the song had ended right around the 2:20 mark, it would have been fine, but the extra minute long acoustic ending takes all the momentum the introduction to the EP just created and throws it all away. That said, the outro to the song is beautifully sad and quite lovely in itself, but the mesh of these two polar opposite songs just doesn’t work in favor of the song and what results is an ultimately confusing blend of what seems to be two separate songs.

Keeping with the drudging pace, “Be Alone” comes next. This song is extremely atmospheric and has some pretty excellent lyrical high points. There are subtle touches of keys that pop through the guitar on occasion, which are beautifully done and make me yearn for more keys to make themselves known through the wall of guitars that really take over for most of the song. The repetitiveness of the song does a great job of wrapping up and relinquishing those feelings upon the listener.

I cannot praise the next tune, “Comfort,” enough for being the highest point of this short EP. The introduction is haunting and leads perfectly into a wall of distortion and momentum that is highlighted by some well-crafted synth. The verses feel strangely familiar as if it has to be a song you’ve heard a thousand times before and pushes you straight into a great chorus. This is all nothing compared to the bridge, which contains some excellent contrast to the rest of the song with its interweaving guitar riffs and call and response vocals. It’s the only time throughout the record I felt I had to go back and listen to a section again to feel everything it had to give.

The last two songs on the record are “Hands” and “Sundress.” Where there is nothing really wrong with the song “Hands,” I cannot pinpoint any moment I felt truly engaged by the song until the final build up and end. “Sundress” on the other hand kept my interest throughout, mostly because it feels so much different from the rest of the album. It’s as if “Sundress” is a massive breath of fresh air after the almost monotonous tone of the first 4 songs. This song gives energy to the record where energy had previously been lacking during the rest of the EP. “Sundress” also ends with a huge repetition of the lyrics “I don’t know your name. You can’t kill my love.” I absolutely love this part of the EP because it shows how much range of emotion this band truly has which is not showcased nearly as effectively through the rest of the record.

What ultimately brings down the record is that each song is forgettable. After repeated listens and several days with the record, nothing stuck with me more than the few minutes the song was actually playing. Some of the transitions between sections in the songs seem forced and unnatural and occasionally the performances are lacking. The tone of the record gets monotonous even though it is a fairly short musical experience.

There’s going to be a decent amount of people who will absolutely love all of these songs and that is superb for Housing. They are absolutely talented enough to carve a spot out in the music industry for themselves and this EP gives glimpses of how stellar Housing will become. They seem like a band that is made up of members with separate eclectic tastes in music and their music is a reflection of all of their personal tastes. There’s no doubt in my mind that Housing has a lot more to give to us that what is on their new EP Empathy and I am extremely excited to see this talented band progress further together as a group.

1. Novocain
2. Be Alone
3. Comfort
4. Hands
5. Sundress

RIYL: Balance And Composure, Tigers Jaw, Brand New


More reviews by Josh Jurss