# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

House Of Circles - Swell 1

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 6 / 8 / 2002

House Of Circles - Swell 1
Label: Laughing Outlaw
Format: CD


"Strong, well played and well produced set of songs" on debut release of occasional Austalian alternative rock trio

Richard Gillard got together with Nick Larkins (bass guitar) and Danny McKenna (drums) after the break up of his former band the Dog. Gillard wrote or co-wrote all of the 15 songs on this, the first House Of Circles album. He also plays guitars, piano, Hammond and various keyboards as well and has also designed the CD booklet. So it seems he is a man of many talents. These three experienced musicians all perform in other musical projects but get together as House Of Circles to create music which is unrelated to those. And what a glorious sound they produce together. Musically they are on a different planet from the release by Slick 57; the other three-piece band that have an album released this month by Laughing Outlaw. House Of Circles start their album off with a guitar led instrumental titled ‘ Swell’ that sets the tone for much of the rest of the album. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed listening to an instrumental as much as this one. The following two songs, ‘Love and Acid’ and ‘Can’, were both featured in the Australian Channel 4 drama ‘The Secret Life Of Us’ and are melodic alternative rock songs. ‘Can’ is particularly strong with some really good harmonies and superb lead guitar from guest Greg Arnold. The fact that the album is made by accomplished musicians is obvious from these two tracks alone. The album is dedicated to two people, one of whom, Justin Gillon, is immortalised in track four, ‘Song For Justin’. What could have been a sentimental eulogy is, in fact, a touching ballad with unusual musical backing and a highlight of the album.‘Only You’is also. The guitars jangle on what appears initially to be a simple love song, but the gorgeous melody works it’s way into the listener'[s head and refuses to leave. ‘Fleur’s River is an acoustic based track that is boosted with some unexpected viola, which turns it into a dazzling piece of work. This is an album that warrants repeated plays and rewards the listener with new sounds each time. It is much more than just another alt. rock album. Tracks like ‘Old Man The Sea’ show that Gillard is an exceptional singer and, coupled with the expertise of the other musicians, the music is never less than interesting and for the most part captivating. Obviously over 15 tracks there is going to be a couple of songs not suited to all tastes. For me the closing track, ‘Freedom’, was the weakest on the album, but repeated plays and more concentration on the lyrics (which pays dividends throughout the whole album) has made me change my mind about that. This is a strong, well played and well produced set of songs from a group of guys who obviously know what they are doing and enjoy doing it.

Track Listing:-
1 Swell
2 Love & Acid
3 Television Boy
4 Bushfire Prelude
5 Bushfire
6 I Need You Now
7 Fleur's River
8 Song For Justin
9 Old Man The Sea
10 Sister In Song
11 Time Is Stealing Seconds
12 Pass The Prozac
13 Freedom
14 Only You

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

digital downloads

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors