Australian six-piece Hands Like Houses have had a successful run of things since the release of their second full-length ‘Unimagine’ which dropped last year. Following the same process as they did with their debut LP, ‘Ground Dweller’, the band have now released an acoustic EP, revamping some of the album’s more popular tracks. Their previous acousitc reworking EP, ‘The Snow Sessions’, went over great with their fanbase, so there are high expectations for ‘Reimagine’, which thankfully the EP lives up to.
It opens with ‘Recollect (Shapeshifters)’ which, despite being stripped down to put a new spin on the track, is still melodic enough to keep a fast pace. Following track ‘Revive (Introduced Species)’ has a clear atmospheric introduction that really allows the calmer drum beat to shine through before the impressively controlled vocals take focus. The gang chant on the track’s chorus really accentuate the new environment created on this acoustic rendition.
The most impressive renditions are in the latter half of the record. Closer ‘Reflect (Developments)’ sets an ethereal background for the gently harmonised vocals to float over, adding some real depth to the song. Album favourite turned acoustic number ‘Rediscover (No Parallels)’ allows frontman Trenton Woodley to push his voice further and the power to shine through.
It’s ‘Release (A Tale Of Outer Suburbia)’ that stands out the most, though. The sheer emotion poured into the song really comes out in this almost a capella setting. It’s a number that can make the hairs on the back of you neck prick up as the chilling vocals take the limelight.
Hands Like Houses have hit onto a format that really works for them. The stripped-down renditions of their most popular rock songs provides something different for the fans. Ye, most importantly, it’s a format that they perform well, adding new dimensions to the tracks rather than just setting a slower pace and, thankfully, Woodley has a voice impressive enough that he can pull off having the focus being primarily on his vocal performance.
‘Reimagine’ is a solid release from Hands Like Houses, who seem to be going from strength to strength. Watch out for album number three, because it could be set to shoot them to all new levels of stardom.
Written by Jonathon Barlow