Alternative rock/noise rock conjurers Houdini has for a long time been one of the most inventive and promising bands in the UK, not only with their impressive releases and live performances but also in helping and working with other upcoming bands in the Medway area in Kent where they reside. As to date deserved national awareness has eluded them but with new single Into The Woods the time of change just might have been triggered. The track is a magnetic and fiery slice of imagination and enterprise dripping with the now established Houdini sound but at the same time shows another strong step in songwriting maturity and sound contagion.
Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Greg Webster, bassist Giles Barrett, and drummer Tom Bonner, the band since forming in 2009 has made a strong name for themselves with fans, the critical media, and extensive radio play with the likes of The Bone Orchard and Audioburger. Their first two singles What A Fire and especially Smokers Cough, in 2009 and 2010 respectively, captured the imagination of a great many whilst their debut EP a year later, Deadlines, elevated the band to one expected to make a major impact on the British rock scene. Admittedly things have not exactly exploded to that point yet but as a split release with Frau Pouch last year showed, it was not down to any lack of invention or inspiring creativity from the band.
Into The Woods as mentioned takes the band nearer to that breakthrough, and though arguably it has misplaced the catchiness which marked tracks like Smokers Cough and Deadlines, the song has evolved a richer and more expansive breath which offers an equally irresistible encounter. Opening with a sonic tease and delicious restrained guitar lashes, the song settles into a keen romp with bass and drums inciting an immediate union between ear and the lure of the more serious nature of the song, though alongside there is constantly the teasing melodic mischief and swagger which marks any Houdini songs as theirs. The vocals of Webster has an expressive tinge to them as expected, but also carries a difference to their presence which matches the sound, a growing of style and intent.
Across its flank the track twists and investigates a variety of gaits and corners within its overall strolling engagement, each adding extra intensive flavour and intrigue to a song which wonderfully never settles down into expectations or presumed stances. The single is an exceptional release and without question the most accomplished and inventive release from the band so far.
If you have yet to discover Houdini you have missed out, but hit up their Bandcamp and you can eagerly catch up and feast upon a band which brings a fresh and invigorating to British rock.
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