Spook Houses – The Trying Spook Houses – The Trying

Spook Houses are a rock and roll band that just put out a rock and roll record called The Trying. There’s a dog on the cover. The dog looks like a nice dog, like the dog you probably had when you were a kid (if your parents weren’t totally dicks for coaxing you into getting a cat instead which totally hated you and used to scratch your face when you were asleep so now you have kind of a “thing” about those little mewing hell beasts which everyone who has one thinks makes you, like, a MONSTER and don’t even want to listen to how you had to go to the principle’s office all the time to convince her that you weren’t being abused by your parents because it couldn’t have been the cat’s fault because cats are God’s favorite vehicles for love and peace or some shit so it must have been something malicious lurking deep in your eight-year-old soul that made that little fucker make your life a living hell until you were, like, twelve and moved), like pretty much exactly what you’d think of when you’ve had to think of what a dog looks like. The family dog, you know? What are they called? Labradors?


I’m going to go ahead and assume that the dog on the cover belongs to someone in the band (or maybe their dad) because this band totally sounds like a band that would totally have a dog that looks like the one on the cover.


Not Americana.

This isn’t like all that schoolboy noodling “life was better in the dust bowl or as, like, an Okie from Muskogee but still it’s good the South didn’t really rise again because grits give me gas and slavery was bad” lowly bedroom shit. Spook Houses play loosely in the vein of a young Bruce Springsteen or maybe just maybe The Replacements and could find easy contemporaries in Titus Andronicus (if you took away their nine-minute conceit) and The Hold Steady circa Girls and Boys in America which is six years old already but there just hasn’t been that much good old sapless sentimental rock and roll (drunks, girls, gardens, death, hope, drums, guitars, bass and disappointment all tuned into the weird and wondrous meaning of growing up despite your best intentions) played balls to the wind with the reckless aspirations of four dudes who couldn’t give two shits because they’re best friends playing in the band you always wished you were in and will be forever even if they can’t make it through December because man can’t live by rock alone which is a motherfucking sin.

The Trying is pretty great is what I’m saying. It’s simple and heartfelt and totally refreshing in a way that’s so obvious that trying to describe it makes me feel like an idiot so you should really just go ahead and buy the damn record for twelve bucks or download it for whatever you please and you can thank Pinpoint after you’ve spent the next three weeks singing the shit out of “American,” “Bad Sound,” “Witching Hour,” “Search For” and “July ‘09” unless feeling good and being awesome isn’t exactly what you’d consider your “thing” in which case I don’t know what to tell you.

Spook Houses rule.

The Trying Tracklist:
1. Try Pt. 1/Pt. 2 (5:04)
2. American (2:13)
3. Bad Sound (3:07)
4. Old Folks (1:55)
5. Garden (3:51)
6. Witching Hour (4:20)
7. Family Plot (4:07)
8. Search For (3:00)
9. July ’09 (5:17)

Spook Houses - The Trying, reviewed by Charles on 2012-10-08T09:46:19-07:00 rating 3.9 out of 5

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