Sound: I first came across Kids In Glass Houses when I saw their single "Easy Tiger" on Kerrang! early in the morning. I didn't really think much of it and in fact it wasn't my cup of tea at all. After listening to that debut album ("Smart Casual") I actually enjoyed it; especially with songs like "Fisticuffs", "Girls" and "Good Boys Gone Bad". It wasn't the strongest album I've heard, but a grower for sure. The band have always provided consistency keeping the sound general style and feel in their songs whilst bringing some new to the table album after album. If I could describe KIGH's sound in short, it would be something like: A clash of bubble-gum pop rock and hard vintage rock sounds with screeching vocals, with catchy intricate guitar riffs and melodies as well as the vocal melody. It's a great healthy balance that works for me each album. // 9
Lyrics: When listening to "In Gold Blood" I get the impression that Aled Phillips' angle of lyric writing has changed massively, but followed a healthy progression. I've heard rumors that this is a concept album... So that might be it! KIGH's lyrics have always been in your face and that's because Aled's voice is in your face (in a good way) and provides that extra push. The lyrical style seems to change when songs life "Animals" and "Gold Blood" are introduced. Something what KIGH have introduced since their second album "Dirt" was some inspiring moments like "Matters At All", "For Better Or Hearse" and "The Morning Afterlife". They've managed to introduce this into the current album with the anthemic song "Not In This World" which is one of my favourite tracks on the album.
Aled's voice is really something. It's not a "proper" singing voice... It's a rock voice despite what others think. It's fun and exciting and it's probably the most iconic feature of the band. // 10
Overall Impression: As said before, KIGH seem to be one of those bands that even now at their 3rd album, they have managed to improve providing consistency and new features. They've even introduced more of the brass section as well as they synthetic sounds of string sections; good examples of this would be "Only The Brave Die Free" and "Fire", but even in "Black Crush" you can hear a brass section which just provides more depth and a punch to the riff as well as decorating the album with some new tones and colours.
I'm honest, there's only one song I dislike which is 'Annie May' but it's still a track I can listen to. Overall I love every song.
My favorite tracks would be:
1. "Gold Blood" - This is simple but effective track to open the album, it's different to what KIGH usually do especially the verses which are very raw sounding.
3. "Diamond Days" is awesome it's cleverly placed as it's sequed from the previous track "Teenage Wonderland". It has this 80's style synth at the start which is one of those things that really shouldn't work but just does!
4. "Not In This World" is a great to follow with; it's inspiring, it's a great anthem, catchy and the vocals are great especially in the chorus.
5. "The Florist" is an interesting one, with a soft, pretty verse and catchy chorus; I can never skip it!
6. "The Florist" then seques into their debut single "Animals". Now, this song is awesome and I'm glad they introduced this before anything as it left me with nothing but high expectations for the album. It had so many things I loved, a classic rock style: Powerful drummming, loud, heavy and repetitive verse riff with an exciting chorus, powerful vocals with more than just Aled involved, a breakdown which builds up to a noisy and screeching guitar solo. Awesome.
9. Fire is a new one, it's slow down and... Coooool. It's definitely got a sexy vibe going on especially with the saxophone solos! It's tracks that these that make me think that KIGH aren't just going to be box standard Pop Rock band with just GUITARS DRUMS BASS SINGIN'... I feel like they're more of a rock band with more to say that most bands.
To cut it short... "Black Crush" is another favourite, loud, fast and kind of dark. Oh look, diversity! The ending track "A God To Many Devils" also has a kind of miserable start (in a good way) then has this lift in tonality and feel which is then thrown away when they get all progressive and break into hard riffing with some reprises in it by fading in the previous track; the best one being when it drops into a half time feel, Aled screams "GOLD BLOOOOOD!" and the guitars play an adapted version of the riff from "Animals".
I would definitely recommend this to any KIGH fan, you won't feel out of place with the progression as it isn't drastic. If I'm honest, I think it's their best album so far. If the album disappeared off the face off the earth, I would be extremely upset.
If you've been a KIGH fan, give it a listen you may find that what you hated in their previous stuff has vanished with this album. // 10