The House of Love – The House of Love (Cherry Red Records)
3 x CD
Release date: November 26

The House of Love were one of the most successful and critically acclaimed bands on Alan McGee’s Creation Records back in the late 1980s. Their eponymous debut album has been out-of-print on CD for some time now – until now anyway as Cherry Red are about to release a 3xCD set of the band’s complete Creation recordings from 1987-1988, which includes some previously unissued bonus material. Daniel Orr’s our man on review duties for this one.

THE House of Love are one of those great forgotten bands, seemingly consigned to be nothing more than a footnote in the history of British music.

For me, that’s a great shame because, while they passed many people by with barely a whimper, THOL had so much going on within their ultimately fragile original line-up, which fractured almost as soon as they made their breakthrough.

When their star began to ascend all the way back in 1988, they seemed destined to become the leaders of the UK indie scene.

It wasn’t to be but more than 20 years on, they still sound fresh, with Guy Chadwick’s crystal-clear vocals as moving as they ever were.

This deluxe 3CD edition of their self-titled debut album, packed with live tracks, demos and alternate takes, shows how they bridged the gap between Felt and The Stone Roses.

Their sound centred on effect-laden chiming guitars and beautiful melodies capable of sending shivers down the spine.

Opening track Christine nods its head to the influence of The Jesus and Mary Chain, while tracks such as Hope and Road are straightforward indie-pop, with John Squire-esque riffs spiralling through.

 

One of the high points is Man To A Child, with its quasi-religious lyrics which are capable of moving me to tears.

That’s the thing about THOL, they can bring out all kinds of emotions in you – whether it be sadness, or elation in the form of songs such as Salome, with its Johnny Marr guitar rhythms and driving bassline.

And whether you own the original version of this album or not, it is worth buying this edition for the Guy Chadwick solo version of Shine alone.

 

This pearl of a song was their finest moment, but stripped down to its bare bones, it takes the breath away.

The House of Love are on Facebook here.

All words by Daniel Orr. More features on Louder Than War written by Daniel can be found here. Daniel is also on Twitter as @danielorrmusic

1 COMMENT

  1. i produced demos for some of these tracks I wonder what happened to them! I guess Guys got them… it was in a weird Mormon owned studio in Bayswater!

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