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Album Review: Spectral by House Olympics

House Olympics release their debut album Spectral on 18th August via Bad Break Records. Based out of Bloomingtion, IN (members of Merchant Ships, Whale Bones), the four-piece blend screamo and post-hardcore sounds in a deeply personal and relatable farewell to the Midwest.

It’s an album you can get on board with and fall in love with immediately. From the gentle, reflective intro of ‘Had Dreams’ through to the contemplative and realisation of ‘Coyote Manson’ you’re taken on a visceral and emotional journey. With ‘Windswept’ you get the first glimpse of House Olympics sound – lending inspiration from Touche Amore it threatens to be a gripping slab of melodic hardcore before petering out. Therefore, it’s left up to ‘Knots’ to welcome you properly into the world of House Olympics. Hard hitting riffs set the blood boiling before a majestic post-hardcore quiet period sets up the final crescendo of scream perfectly.

From there on in Spectral goes from strength to strength. ’70 Frames’ lays problems of dealing with anxiety on the table amid a quiet-loud-quiet-loud assault of hardcore riffs and screeches. The pounding riffs towards the end of the track are a real delight before ‘Northside’ acts as a short burst of hardcore to welcome the formidable and ambitious ‘Finger of God (Dorothy II)’.

By the time you get to ‘Andy’s Play’ you’ve settled into the quiet-loud-quiet-loud structure of House Olympics and you can revel in the riffs and connect with TJ Jaeger’s personal lyrics. It’s a strong and captivating vocal performance – not only is the subject matter relatable but the delivery, whilst being screamo, allows you understand and connect with each word. ‘New Amsterdam’ is the last moment of unbridled riffs, while closer ‘Coyote Manson’ is simply beautiful. A must hear.

Imagine Old Gray and Native with the power and gravitas of Touche Amore and Poison The Well and you won’t be far from House Olympics.

AD Rating 7.5/10

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