House Of Love have come full circle since arriving on England’s indie scene in the mid 80’s. The band’s initial line up was as textured as was their music, with Guy Chadwick holding down vocals and guitars, initially coming from the band Kingdom, Terry Bickers can be heard on guitar, and initially coming from Colenso Parade, Andrea Heukamp is also responsible for guitars and vocals, Chris Groothuizen on bass, along with Peter Evans on drums. This incarnation of the band brought such awesome singles as “Christine,” “Destroy The Heart,” and of course “Blind”.
These space aged gunslingers went on to create some of the most resounding contemporary psychedelic music of the day, reflected in their works Spy In The House Of Love and the brilliant self titled release, known as the Butterfly Album. Together, House of Love seemed to have a natural feel for this texturing, layering, mixing, tiny sparks popping up just when needed, a steady bass rolling below the swirling guitars and the unfolding instrumental drumming to tie it all together. But perhaps what caught my ears most profoundly were the vocals by Guy Chadwick. His voice was different than anyone on the scene, with perhaps the exception of Dean Wareham, where the harmonies he created with Bickers were par excellence.
Sadly Terry Bickers left the band due to drug tensions between he and Guy. I don’t know why people or band members are surprised when this happens, the music created was obviously done so under the influence, carried into the studio and then to some of the finest psychedelic performances I have ever witnessed; complete with 60’s style light shows. But in reality, drugs can cause tension. Drugs have always seemed to be the spark or the catalyst for extraordinary vision, and then are ultimately the cause for the demise of far to many bands.
Having said all of this, I must say that coming off Guy’s success with his solo effort Lazy, Soft, and Slow, I was more then taken back and very happy when these two long time friends, the essential core of House of Love, managed to get themselves back together, with the result being Days Run Away.
The album is actually the next step in the continuation of House of Love, with these two back in the lead playing off and sparking each other on. The music is fresh, it shimmers and unfolds under a new sun, like heat waves rising off the road in front of them. There is the hard psychedelic rocking, along all of the thick layering and textures you will remember, yet they’ve undertaken this effort skillfully, where without looking back they’ve managed to move the sound forward, creating a solid enjoyable listen.
If you’ve been longing for the real thing, another adventure, a chance to perhaps ride the psychedelic wave once more in all of its hazed intoxicating spender, then by all means pick up this release by House Of Love, the best guides for floating through this sort of hypnotic musical landscape.