Recently, Manchester, UK band Summerhouse put forth a debut self-titled Summerhouse. The 5 track EP features grunge rock based tracks heavily influenced by rock from the early 90’s. The EP leads with “II,” a laid back but tough instrumental to crack a brew open to. The drums come in with a military cadence after the track opens with a slow guitar melody; “II” in essence has a dreamy presence with its chord progressions.
Amidst the grunginess of Summerhouse the dreampop elements bleed throughout the EP on almost every track. One of the catchiest tracks, “Chlorine,” stands out with its appealing, partly inaudible hook. “Blowing my lungs up…” is the only part that picks up over the pop guitar melody. The song composition is crude and cute all at once, but even its crudeness isn’t a Bleach crude. “Amber Glow” picks up with the same vibe, but it shifts from an ode to a deadly inhalant to a poetic admiration for a girl.
Melodically, “Amber Glow” isn’t too different from “Chlorine,” but has more emotion, in addition to cool riffs. The guitar solo towards the end of the song lends way for a vocal harmony in conclusion. The grunginess picks up full throttle on “Ether” with its hardcore sound, in comparison to the previous songs on the EP. The vocal drawl falls in line with the tradition of the grunge sub-genre to complete the nostalgia. This single from a 90’s perspective would have had a video to accompany it, and could have been played during a Bevis and Butt-head couch session. Out of the whole track list, “Ether” stands out as the grittiest, production wise.
The EP wraps up with “Haunt” a song that’s hauntingly familiar to an old school Green Day release. “Haunt” picks up the tempo from “Ether” placing the former as the most upbeat tune of all the tracks. The entire presentation of the song screams cut off shorts, calve high socks, spacers, and dyed hair. As with all of the other songs on the EP, you’ll find yourself replaying it over and over. A pleasant instrumental descends on the track towards the end to make for a nice close out; you can tell this band knows how to play and make music.
What makes of Summerhouse’s debut a playlist favorite is that it doesn’t just have great songs. Have you ever been served food that you were told tastes amazing, but it looks horrible? Despite how good it tastes, just the fact the food looks like crap is enough to get up from the table. Well that’s how it is with music. Ever looked at an album cover and decided not to listen, because at first glance it didn’t look appealing? Summerhouse has that part of the experience covered also with cover art designed by Esmee Balcewicz. The bleached man on the front cover with peach fuzz facial hair, wearing an oversized shirt, and with a look of uncertainty draws potential listeners in. The vibrant mostly pink background sets it off with scattered cool details throughout such as, the crying smiley face in the right hand corner. Support the band and purchase the new EP, you won’t be disappointed. You can download it on Bandcamp, https://uksummerhouse.bandcamp.com/album/summerhouse, and keep up with their latest happenings on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/summerhousetheband