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REVIEW: Pure Rock

HOUSE OF LORDS New World - New Eyes

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor

Saturday, August 15, 2020 @ 11:14 AM

Frontiers Music Srl - 2020

You can say what you want about HOUSE OF LORDS. Over the years I certainly have. Whether it was reviewing CDs as they came out, a concert I attended or looking back as some of their earliest albums via a series I write for another website, I've weighed in on a number of the band's releases.

So it isn't much of a surprise that I wanted to be the one to review the band's new album New World - New Eyes as well. It's taken me a bit longer than I expected to put my thoughts together but now that I've given the album a damn good listen, I am ready to go full speed ahead.

The album opens with the title track and it's a real doozy! Right at the start, there's a bluesy kind of feel to the first verse which soon gives way to a faster paced rock and roll groove. There's a kinetic energy to the track and it leads one to think that there is a lot more where this came from.

The band switches gears with the very next track. I found "Change (What's It Gonna Take)" to be what I would term the "dramatic set piece" of the album. There's a big theatrical vibe to the song. The opening is understated with a flourish of keyboards and then spare instrumentation after that. When the song reaches the 2 1/2 minute mark, things get more intense and and that sense of the theatrical is combined with a more rock and roll pacing to make the song into what I first described it as.

The songwriting crosses the gamut on this album. From the big sounding songs, to the guitar based driving rock and roll anthems and to the more emotive ballads. The song "Perfectly (You and I)" is essentially a power ballad in style and form but when the song takes off into a more rock and roll direction, combined with singer James Christian's vocals being featured so much to the forefront of the mix, it transforms into song with a much heavier tone to it. The guitar solo from Jimi Bell is pretty strong too.

And believe me, that's just scratching the surface of what Bell brings to this album. He and James Christian co-wrote the majority of the material on the album (with outside songwriters helping out too) and you can really get a sense for just how hard driving and guitar oriented this album is on songs like "Better Off Broken" and the slightly grittier feel of "Chemical Rush". The guitar work on that song is slamming!

One song that Bell didn't write or play on is the track "$5 Bucks of Gasoline". Frequent Frontiers contributor Tommy Denander co-wrote the song and played all the guitars on it. The song title struck me a little strange when I read it on the liner notes but surprisingly, the in-your-face presentation and a very cool vocal take from James Christian made the song a winner.

I wasn't totally sold on the way the vocal came off in "We're All That We Got", there was just something about it that bugged me for some reason. However, that's pretty much the only real "complaint" that I have here.

While the other song styles are pretty darn good, when HOUSE OF LORDS rocks out hard and fast, they seem to really catch fire. The tracks "One More" and "The Both Of Us" are fiery and get your heart racing. The latter song also features what I thought was the best example of just how strong BJ Zampa's drums come through on the album. His work behind the kit on this song really gives it an extra edge in my book.

The band closes out the album with a double shot of aggressive rock and roll. Jimi Bell's guitar explodes out of the gate (and your speakers) on "The Chase". There's a slightly looser feel to the song but when you add in a killer solo and a huge keyboard run through, the song ends up with a lot of depth in total. It's probably my favorite overall song on the disc.

Then comes "The Summit". It's relentless and shows the band really going for broke. The lyrics are powerful and pointedly uplifting in nature without coming off as exceedingly cloying.

The first line of that song's chorus is a pretty good way to describe how I felt about New World - New Eyes. The line says "At the summit is the truth that only some will get to find". With a heavy dose of powerful riffs, fantastic vocals and huge melodic hooks, HOUSE OF LORDS definitely reached the summit of their goals for this album, thus making New World - New Eyes something that everyone, rather than just "some", need to truth!

4.8 Out Of 5.0


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