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House Of Lords: New World, New Eyes

What’s maybe most unusual about New World, New Eyes from US melodic rock stalwarts House Of Lords is the sudden introduction of both Mark Spiro and Tommy Denander to the band’s song writing department. The line-up remains main-man and House leader James Christian on vocals, keys and some guitar, with Jimi Bell ripping out the leads and Chris Tristram and BJ Zampa locking down the rhythm section, but with new blood helping to steer the ship, so a slight change of course seems to have been set.

Don’t get me wrong, HoL are still pomping it up as they careen from one sing along chorus to the next but the majesty of old - which admittedly has been traded in for a more streamlined approach in recent years - has almost all been intentionally polished away. Instead there’s a much more bright and forthright attack, and in places proceedings almost veer into pop territory, although it has to be said with some real success. “Perfectly (Just You And I)” being a prime example - although Bell, as ever keeps things rockin’ with his precision riffs and scything solos. The star of recent albums alongside Christian’s near peerless voice, Bell once more stamps his authority on this outing, although that doesn’t mean that he either dominates, or for me, saves the memorable but somehow throwaway “$5 Bucks Of Gasoline” from feeling like a chorus and verse from two different songs.

With “Change (What’s It’s Gonna Take)” coming just too close to scene jumping with its ‘whooa-o-oooaa’ interjections and layered vocal/banjo trade-offs and “The Chase” possessing some serious keyboard cheese-parps (think Status Quo in covers mode), I must admit that in places NWNE is the first House Of Lords album to leave me cold in places since the questionable 2004 comeback The Power And The Myth. Thank goodness then for the huge intent of “One More”, where Bell lays it down thick and fast, “Chemical Rush” and its traditionally HoL brooding heart, and the thump and grind of “Better Off Broken”. Add in the closing explosion of “The Summit”, which looks to combine the more wholesome House sound and Christian’s amazingly rounded vocals to some of the more diverse sidetracks this album indulges in, and the majority of New World, New Eyes does hit the bull’s eye. Still, for long term House Of Lords acolytes, there’s no denying that some of this band’s latest offering might just test their patience. And while this is far from being a tame offering, for me it’s as close as House Of Lords have come to taking their eye off the ball for a very, very long time.

Track Listing
1. New World - New Eyes
2. Change (What's It Gonna Take)
3. One More
4. Perfectly (Just You And I)
5. The Both Of Us
6. Chemical Rush
7. We're All That We Got
8. Better Off Broken
9. $5 Bucks Of Gasoline
10. The Chase
11. The Summit

Added: July 11th 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: House of Lords on facebook
Hits: 1054
Language: english

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