House Vs. Hurricane

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What better gift to receive than a new album from House Vs. Hurricane. In their first batch of new music since 2012, the reincarnation of the Australian heavy-heads laid out in Filth is likely their best work to date, and it was all written and ready to go by founding member Chris Shaw way back when the split occurred.

This release harnesses some very raw and emotive tracks – “Give It Up”, in particular, is very direct. “I’m not the lyricist,” laughs Shaw, “So I don’t know what the lyrics are about. It’s definitely stuff that Dan [vocalist, Dan Casey] experiences himself. I can’t give you a proper answer because I don’t know.”

Surely as a band, if Dan is penning the lyrics you get a say on whether they like them or not, whether Shaw feels the words reflect the music because after all, he wrote these songs. “Yeah, like I wrote the music, and it’s just sort of the meaning and what it’s about, what it’s gonna be like: that’s all Dan. I don’t think about it too much, but there’s something there.”

Shaw penned Filth when the band broke up and with these songs so much time on the shelf, it’s interesting to find out whether what they eventuated to be is what Shaw had perceived originally. “I think I had written one or two tracks as we were sort of calling it a day,” he says. “I had a whole bunch of riffs that I’d written over the years and after that [the break-up] I wrote a record with the intention of starting a new band – I tried a bunch of vocalists, and no one worked how I envisioned it.

“One day, I gave Dan and Rick [lead guitarist, Ryan McLerie] a call and said: ‘Do you wanna sing with me?’ They heard it, they loved it, and we were all like, ‘why not?’ Let’s just release it and see what happens.

“I guess it was always written with Dan in mind, I guess subconsciously. The vocals were the next extension.”

It took going through the process of Shaw looking for a new vocalist before he realised that these new songs had been written for House Vs. Hurricane. Perhaps on some level, Shaw was, in fact, break up or no, writing for this lineup. “I’ve always written music in-house and it’s always been the core of the band was Dan, Rick and myself, and Sam [Osborne] on drums – yeah, on a subconscious level, it’s just the style I write. They were the ones who could twist around the music and make it their own, put lyrics on top of it. We’re all on the same brainwave.”

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It’s great news for fans that House Vs. Hurricane was able to come together and still have that connection even though they had had such a long time apart as a group. The release of Filth is, in some ways, the band renewed; the band at its best. “It’s a hard one to think about because sort of every musician is so blinded by their passion and think, ‘Yeah, it’s the best thing we’ve ever done,’ but it’s the most exciting album I’ve written, recorded and been a part of.

“Whether it’s our best work or not is completely opinion-based. I think it’s my best work personally because it’s a massive step up from what everyone else has always been playing. But in the sense of ‘is it your best?’ Maybe it will be, depends if anyone likes it.”

It’s not so much a question of House Vs. Hurricane’s musical output and the standard of it so much as the relationship and determination as a band – with a five-year gap, is this now the band at its absolute best? “Not in terms of touring,” Shaw laughs. “Musically, it’s way more technical than anything we’ve ever done and Dan is singing some pretty high vocals there… we’re tight, we’re here again.”

House Vs. Hurricane’s first live performance together since their split was at UNIFY 2017, an invigorating performance that Shaw says only sparked the fire for more touring and more performing. “I wasn’t nervous but only because I’ve been playing a few years but the guys, they’d left off music for so long, but it ended up feeling like a routine though, totally natural.

“I was excited to play the news songs and wasn’t sure how it would go down but we were so, so happy with the reception.”

Shaw performed again with his band members, a feeling very familiar. “It was like I’d never stopped playing with them. As soon as we walked off the stage we were so excited, we had played together again, it was kind of surreal.

“I think when you’re invested in something for so long like we were, you grow to see the bigger picture and how much people appreciate you and what you’ve created.”

Written by Anna Rose

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Written by Dave Griffiths

Dave has worked as a music & film journalist for over 20 years now. Aside from Heavy he does radio and various podcasts as well. He is the proud owner of Metal Cat.

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