Housing

Empathy EP

Written by: LF on 28/07/2015 11:55:30

The internet is not exactly abundant with information about the young Canadian band Housing but a few things I have managed to find out. The foursome hails from Ontario and this "Empathy" EP seems to be their second release ever. They play busy and melodic indie/emo rock in the vein of bands like Tigers Jaw or Balance & Composure with a certain gloom that reminds me more than anything of a band like Seahaven. In the nineteen minutes it lasts, the "Empathy" EP gets surprisingly far and doesn't waste a second anywhere on its hectic road forward.

Every song presents a new tempo and a slightly new mood and with all of four instruments to match with the members in the band, the sound is rich as it unfurls in tightly knit patterns of guitar, keyboard, bass, and drums. The sound is atmospheric and layered while not losing its urgency no matter the intensity of the tempo. With the busy "Novocain" we are thrown directly into the band's swirling musical universe where heavy rhythmical guitars dominate underneath a solid vocal performance that continues to provide captivating hooks in every song. The vocals are at times distant and hopeless but mostly they're urgent and up front in the sound, providing clear lyrics all the way through. The songwriting is in general exemplary on this EP as the band is very good at adding little variations in riffs or rhythms that keep the listener hooked even in a slower and more straightforward song like the heavy-hearted and spacey "Be Alone" that avoids drowning its listener through some well-placed breaks.

For the last three songs of the EP, the tempo is picked up again slowly. First the keyboard makes itself properly known through a signature riff on "Comfort" which builds slowly but surely upwards through explicitly rhythmic as well as calmer parts. "Hands" then slowly feels its way into the listener's brain, with the dissonance in the introducing chords foreshadowing a frantic step up the ladder before the EP culminates in the faster, edgier and darker-sounding "Sundress". Thus the recording comes full circle, ending just as busy as it started. The EP is well-structured and no two songs are quite alike, making it quite a strong little release that makes me look forward to following Housing in the future and gives me high hopes for a full-length record that could take them even further towards the top.

8

Download: Sundress, Comfort
For The Fans Of: Tigers Jaw, Balance & Composure, seahaven
Listen: facebook.com/housing

Release date 18.05.2015
Mutant League Records

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