Song Review: HOUSING – “Hands”

Song Review: HOUSING – “Hands”

Song: “Hands”
Band: HOUSING
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Date of Release: 19/05/2015
Genre: Alternative punk
Reviewer: Welmanshire
For Fans Of: Balance & Composure, Touché Amoré, Title Fight
Why They Aren’t Famous: I really hope they get there with their new EP

We’re part of an extremely fortunate generation when it comes to music. As the first decade of the 2000’s began to tick over, we saw a resurgence in popularity of alt-punk – with bands such as Balance & Composure, Title Fight, and mainstays The Swellers once again popularising the subgenre and paving the way for many contemporaries to follow suit. It was a refreshing rebuttal to the metalcore saturated mid-2000’s – for a time, we lost the crusty kid-punks that managed to carry the genuine pain and struggle far removed from the stylistics of the glitzier genres. That all changed when the aforementioned bands, among others, came into the limelight in a time that was screaming out for something real.

As with any wave of popularity, in recent years the intensity has died down; petered out – but modern alt-punk has now found its place in the complex collage of the contemporary scene. Many of these bands are going on to hit their 10-year mark (and in the case of Title Fight, almost 15 years), and the ‘second wave’ of bands are starting to emerge, influenced by the modern pioneers.

In step Housing a Hamilton, Ontario based band who comfortably fit into the niche. It would be unfair to say that they’re directly drawing influence from bands such as B&C – they’re making their own way and finding their place, producing some really honest and dark alt-punk.

The song opens with an isolated guitar/vocals intro, which sets the raw, authentic lyrical tone of the song from the beginning. With lines the opening,

Just wait
Don’t you go
Turn away, and shut my eyes.
Long lost friend
Hands are tied
Cut the cord, and lock me inside.
I never want to wake up If I can’t see your face.
I never want to wake up.

I think it’s important to note that all the members of Housing are aged 16 – 19, which is evident in the best possible way – if you’re familiar with my reviews, you’ll be familiar with my strong belief that some of the most earnest and emotionally authentic material comes from the younger bands in the scene. Without sounding too much like a broken record, youth is simply a strong influence on a band’s sound. The younger, the more raw, the more innocence is retained – often less jaded, and less stifled than their older counterparts. Housing’s youthful originality strikes through, reminiscent of some the first-wave pioneers who were just kids at the time of their rise to fame.

The song maintains a pretty steady pace without – I was transfixed with the lyrical content against the beautiful and dark backdrop performed by the guys – the final driving beat down section is a perfect closer to an extremely well rounded song. Hands is most definitely a good choice for a single, but in all honesty some of the other tracks on their EP, Empathy are much stronger in terms of musicianship and songwriting. The opener Novocain is a certified banger, but the standout track, Comfort, is an immediate must listen along with Hands.. Stop what you’re doing and listen now.

Vocals: 8/10
Lyrics: 9/10
Guitar: 8/10
Bass: 8/10
Percussion: 8.2/10
Songwriting: 9.1/10
Production: 8.1/10
Personal Enjoyment: 8.7/10
Overall IPHYB Rating: 9/10

Song Review: HOUSING – “Hands”
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