I first learned of Vancouver-via-Dublin’s House of Dolls when a friend tipped me that they’d relocated to Vancouver last spring. Immediately being intrigued with why the fuck a band would want to relocate to Vancouver of all cities in the first place, I immediately got hold of their debut full-length Welcome to the Department of Nuclear Medicine and was pleasantly surprised.
What I heard was excellent, noisy, rock ‘n’ roll being played by people that seemed to understand what rock ‘n’ roll is actually about, in that beautiful UK-style drug vibe that nobody from Vancouver could pretend to nail. All of the good stuff: a little bit Primal Scream, a little bit Jesus & Mary Chain, a little bit all of the good records you own.
With their brand new The Gods All Suck EP, House of Dolls starts where they left off on Nuclear Medicine. A looser set of four songs that show the band is on the right path to better their debut album while expanding on a style they already own.
Opener “How It Ends” invites you in with a nice loose-yet-tight drumbeat that surrenders to a dialed-in bass groove surrounded by atmospheric guitar melodies that eventually let the real money kick in: singer Stephen White’s perfectly blended-in voice. He just has a sixth sense when it comes to melodies and a singing style that matches the music perfectly.
It doesn’t stop there as it goes into “Inquisition,” a beautifully mellow mood-setter that almost sounds halfway between country and shoegaze without being either. Easily a song you can find yourself lost in and a perfect song to end any late-night shenanigans you may have found yourself up to.
The next one, “Low,” picks the pace back up while still letting you reel in the feel of the prior songs. Its beautiful wall-of-sound middle section ups the ante as it takes you on a minor trip that never forces you to leave the comfortable seat House of Dolls has set up for you. EP closer “TV Trash” ends with a gloriously melodic hypnotic clang.
The Gods All Suck serves the exact purpose of what a true EP should do: a bridge between two albums showing a little of the old with a peek at the new. I’m pretty happy House of Dolls now calls Vancouver home.