Music » Music Reviews

Housefire: Housefire

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Looking to get amped up for a marathon with super high-energy beats that will get your blood pumping and heart racing? Then Housefire is not the band for you. Searching for a non-medicinal cure for insomnia, contemplating heavy ontological questions or reflecting on a recent breakup? The five tracks on their self-titled EP will mellow you out faster than anything that can be put on a prescription pad.

This Portland, Ore.-based crew can be most easily labeled as an indie/electronica hybrid. The drawn-out, near-whiney vocals coupled with layers of classic indie rock sounds and eerie electronic tones make this band easily comparable to uber-famous Radiohead. In fact, "Karma Police" and "Fake Plastic Trees" could play right alongside Housefire without missing a beat. Listeners can expect well-crafted (although occasionally indecipherable) lyrics from Housefire. On the opening track "Mystery Thrill," a near-whisper asks, "How many times have I told you before / the path you choose is not yours?" There isn't any mention of tippin' in da club or sitting at a country bar in Housefire's songs. They deal with slightly deeper subject matter, like on "Compulsion," when the songster says, "Couldn't find me /couldn't find me / 'til you find yourself."

Although Housefire does well as a troupe of lyrical poets, every track includes lengthy instrumental intervals. "White Cloud, Grey Sky" has no vocals at all. As a matter of fact, vocals don't make much of an appearance before the two-minute mark on this EP. And the tracks follow a formula: Each begins with a simple sound--a drum, a guitar, something that would announce the arrival of an ice cream truck--then layers of electronic sounds, more instruments and then the vocals. Overall, this EP is like a five-act play in that each song connects nicely with the next.