With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

This House Is haunted – Fulford Arms, York – Sunday 31st October November 9, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 8:28 pm
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Has there ever been a more aptly named band to headline a show on Halloween than This House Is Haunted? Maybe, but this York band was booked for Halloween this year! Before I speak of them I need to tell you about the three support acts. First to take the stage was Redfyrn, another fine York band. Cat is a great vocalist with a voice that is heavy rock bordering on operatic. Redfyrn have a monster heavy sound with boot-crushing bass and riffs that could split an atom. There are rich seams of jazz and prog in their sound and the drummer’s less is more approach comes across like a heavy metal Charlie Watts. This is the second time I have seen them and it won’t be the last.

Next up it was the turn of another local band, the Bricks. They have a supremely powerful post-punk sound with incredible energy levels, especially from singer Gemma. She is an excellent frontwoman and the band is really tight. I heard strains of early Siouxsie Sioux in Gemma’s vocals and occasionally maybe Lene Lovich too. Their songs are idiosyncratic and original, I particularly loved “Short Songs”. And a special mention for “Warburton” (at least I think that is the title), which can sit alongside just a small handful of other bread-related songs. You need to experience the Bricks live, I did and I will be back for more. Vaquelin came to the spooky stage next. If Led Zeppelin had sweaty, dirty, illicit sex with Bring Me The Horizon, Valequin would be the haunted offspring. Sometimes funky, but always heavy tunes with classy rock vocals prove that this band knows how to rock. The guitars hit you stylistically like Slash but so much heavier.

This House Is Haunted is a hellishly accomplished band. In keeping with Halloween, the band took to the stage dressed like Squid Game participants, although the heat meant those masks didn’t stay for too long! Every member makes a 100% contribution to what are clearly some staggeringly powerful rock songs. Dom proves what an exceptional drummer he is. Zak hits a perfect sweet spot showcasing his fine rock voice and he also supplies some first class nuclear-powered guitar riffs. Bass player Jenn keeps the band’s engine finely tuned and purring like a top-of-the-range Rolls Royce. The world needs to hear more of this band. If they ever haunt a venue near you then do not miss them.

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‘Passions’ – Thirst September 7, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:41 pm
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Thirst is talented York musician Dom White who spent a number of years as the drummer for metal band the Family Ruin before returning to his home city to form This House Is Haunted, a rather ace alt.rock band. Dom is also the genial owner of the rather splendid FortyFive Vinyl CafĂ© in York. This is his first solo album and is an eclectic and enthralling collection of tunes. For me it has a feel of a British 1960s concept album, perhaps more the Zombies or the the Pretty Things rather than the Who. Opener “Memory Lane” initially has a really ambient feel to it before it builds into an understated power ballad for the 21st Century. If you like dreamy, dark (almost) power ballads you will love “Runaway”. That is the tune that stayed with me for quite a while beyond my first listen. First single “Afraid Of The Dark” had me imagining Henry Mancini collaborating with Ian Broudie, it has a real cinematic feel to it, as does much of the production on this collection. The “Afraid Of The Dark” video is well put together too, a collection of great clips from old horror films. I love the lyrics on the wonderfully piano led “Who I Am”. Dom’s voice is original and it is hard to find any obvious comparisons, but on “Foundling Wheel” it reminded me at times of David Bowie’s take on Bracht’s ‘Baal’ and the harmonies have their roots in classic British folk music.

Dom seems to have a knack for nailing the cinematic feel and scope in the instrumentation on this album, “Breather” really showcases as it is an instrumental would fit perfectly into the soundtrack of spooky French film, maybe alongside something by Mogwai. “Danse Macabre” has an almost nursery rhyme music box element in it’s main theme and I mean that in a good way and like the previous track is crying out to be used on a soundtrack for a noble dance of death scene. The deeper keyboard notes give a strong bass ambient feel to “Welcome Home”. After a few spins “All Of Them Witches”, the second single. is probably my favourite song on the album. The drum and percussion sound throughout has a languid glam rock feel, the sort of track that might have enhanced an album by maybe the Sweet in the mid 70s when they were trying to rid themselves of their manufactured pop band label. The overlaid vocals are superb. Album closer “Hand Of God” is the closest to a traditional rock song construct and like all great albums it enables a great crescendo finish. This first album from Thirst is a grower, give it a few listens and you will continue to go back to it, trust me!

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