Households Bullrushes Will Grow

There’s a lot of punk-fuelled passion brimming to the surface of this remarkable new record by the disarmingly crafty Households. Primary vocalist Ryan Newell is a lovely singer and his delicate delivery makes the band’s intricate arrangements seem more poppy than their mathematical structures indicate. The beauty of it all belies the stern but thoughtful political and personal commentary (much of it inspired by the recent Six Nations land dispute in Caledonia, ON) shining through on spirited songs like "Extra Skin” and the explosive "Streets & States.” If these songs test the telepathic rhythm section of bassist Beauchamp and drummer S. Ob, acoustic protest numbers like "Some Caledonians” and "Widen the Roads” offer an opportunity to add subtle vocals, which they do to haunting effect. Genuine studio creations like "The Fingers of One Hand” morph between electrically-charged, full-band dynamics and acoustic breakdowns, while the bottled rage of "Land is Like Dominoes” builds to a grungy climax over of a jazzy post-rock shuffle. It’s rare to discover artists who can channel politically-charged emotion into such a multi-dimensional sound but the freedoms Households are defending are multi-layered, and there’s a sense that these songs represent living ideals. (Burnt Oak)