Approach Safe As Houses

Comprised of alumni from the Red Light Sting, Closed Caption Radio and Donkey Machine, the Approach have remained relatively low-key in their five years together. Despite charting on numerous college radio stations, the Vancouver-based math rock trio have generated little buzz in their local scene, which is unfortunate considering their boisterous live show and raw talent. Safe As Houses, their latest effort, improves on 2004’s Wings of Monarchs with an expanded sonic palette that name checks everyone from Yes to Rye Coalition. More complex jams and the addition of vocals courtesy of Gregory Adams (formerly of the Red Light Sting) and Lyn Heinemann (of Portico) add structure to the trio’s vigorous interplay. It’s hard not to think of the Red Light Sting when Gregory’s vocals combine with Marty’s frenetic guitar work but fans of the band will likely find this a good thing. Ultimately, Safe as Houses finds both its strengths and flaws in its diversity. From the constant changes of "Pistols at Dawn” to the slow build of "The Markup On Rice,” the record covers a lot of ground but lacks a sense of cohesion that characterises their peers. The Approach have the potential to birth a fantastic album but Safe As Houses just isn’t it. (Hinge)