The third long-player from House Sounds, III showcases Chicago’s psychedelic post-punk DIY luminaries with a refreshing breath of panache. Following a string of two excellent albums (House Sounds and Interrobang), III hits the ground running, and the trio of multi-intrumentalists—Ian Feigle, Kenneth Klemaier, and Matthew Kordonowy—sound leaner and stronger than ever before.
Side A opener “Sidewalks” exudes this new air of confidence by exclaiming “Hit the reset button from within!” as backwards guitar flits atop rocksteady drums and segues into a deranged cowpunk stomp.”Sun” and “Rams” both bounce back and forth between bleak bravado and contemplative awareness, inspiring us to forge new opinions as we deconstruct our memories and reconnect the dots.
Side B provides reconciliation with Side A’s knee-jerk tension. “50/50” is a lyrical and sonic reminder that there are at least two sides to every story and perspective, juxtaposing warm optimism with deflated defeat through major-to-minor metaphors and chord progressions. The erratically melodic “Root Man” evolves into an almost dub-like lament, while the tight “Rhymes and Hi-Hats” surveys an uneasy, abstract dreamscape in which lessons could be learned, but for some reason feel unattainable.
And then there’s “40 Days”—House Sounds at their finest. Merging the urgency of classics like Mission of Burma and Wire with their brand of sun-dappled psychedelia, House Sounds have created a hyper-relevant anthem for 2016. “40 Days” closes III with Feigle, Klemaier, and Kordonowy chanting in unison “I’m not living in your fantasy world”, a defiant personal and sociopolitical statement that inspires us to embrace our individualities and find real truth in happiness.
released July 15, 2016
Recorded by House Sounds at 2100 W Berwyn Chicago, IL 60625. Fall 2014. Mixed and Overdubbed by Steve Marek and House Sounds in Steve's Basement Spring 2015–Spring 2016