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House & Parish

One, One-Thousand

(Arena Rock; US: 13 Nov 2007; UK: Available as import)

House & Parish’s first EP, One, One-Thousand is a collection of straight-forward indie rock. It isn’t a collection that shows off any new innovation, and it may invite comparisons to a whole slew of other bands that sound solid but indistinct. Still, while they may not have a new sound, they manage to rise ever so slightly above the crowd with their use of mood. “This Curse”, easily the best track here, establishes a lot of space—with tides of echoed guitar and synth riding over the track—and gives the song a grey morning feel, one that works well with the melancholy of their lyrics. “Pristine Fields” is sounds far less muddy, and is more guitar rock than the rest of the EP’s dreamy guitar pop, but the immediacy of the song is a nice intro to the band. It shows their ability to craft a melody and deliver it with assured energy. Though they occasionally slip too far into the atmosphere of their songs—“Summer Programme” is all dream and not nearly enough pop—for the most part, One, One-Thousand is a solid record. Should they decide in the future to play up their sense of mood alongside their rock band energy, rather than getting bogged down in brooding, they could really have something. For now, their success is hit or miss.

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Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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