House Lights
"This Town Is Murder"

(Fake Chapter Records 2004)House Lights - This Town Is Murder

While "This Town Is Murder" might be The House Lights' debut album, they are by no means inexperienced. With members of the now defunct Four Minute Mile, The House Lights are well versed in their particular brand of rock and punk that is highly poppy and energetic. You can tell when a band is only going through the motions and that certainly is not the case here. Instead, it is like the beginning stages of a relationship: new and bright.

Melodic, full instrumentation lurks into view on "Proclamation," fronted by distinct vocals and unnecessary background vocals. Guitar riffs drive "Best Intentions" as the instrumentation bounces, leading into album standout "Box Cutter." With short quick notes, "Box Cutter" is catchy with a number of rhythms and a melodic, poppy chorus. Creating rough textures before slower verses, "The Shape I'm In" is a gentle power ballad. "Nobody here knows the shape I am in/Been broken and battered before we began," singer Kyle Campbell croons on "The Shape I'm In." Quickening their pace, "Beat the Dragon" stays active and interesting with energetic pop rock.

Crashing cymbals lead into the full bodied "Catch Me If You Can" with vocal harmonies blending for the song's chorus. Campbell's voice snarls gently on the chorus of the gentle "Shallow Season" as quick guitar keeps the otherwise slow tempo song moving. Purposely poppy with smooth vocals that catch your ear, "Radio On" has that certain feel good quality that attracts listeners. "Three Parts is more relaxed, with a natural sound that is both poppy and undemanding.

With a refreshing sound, The House Lights do not rely on overly repetitious phrases or ideas, keeping the ball going and the music playing. "This Town Is Murder" is a continual pop punk/rock assault that you will grab a hold on you. The House Lights avoid mindless pop pitfalls and stay on task with their debut.

B

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