Back in the 1987 the House Of Love burst onto the indie pop scene with their debut single Shine On released on Creation Records. It was apparent that Guy Chadwick was a great vocalist & frontman and Terry Bickers was an exceptional guitarist – and the two worked in perfect harmony.
I had the pleasure of promoting two gigs in Medway and witnessed several amazing live performances. Two further singles, Real Animal and Christine, appeared before they released their massively acclaimed debut album in June 1988.
The 10-track album, featuring classic tracks such as Hope, Man To Child & Love In A Car was quickly hailed as one of the definitive independent releases of the late 1980’s and was recently re-released by Cherry Red as a deluxe 3-cd version.
In 1989 original guitarist Terry Bickers left the band before they released their second self–titled album in January 1990. Two further albums were released on Fontana, Babe Rainbow (1992) and Audience With The Mind (1993) before they eventually disbanded in late 1993.
In 2005 original members Guy Chadwick & Terry Bickers reformed the band and released Days Run Away. Now they are set to release a new album in April.
She Paints Words In Red includes 12 new songs apparently recorded in just ten days in November 2012. The songs have that certain House Of Love sound – Chadwick’s velvet vocals and Bickers distinctive guitar – but with a distinguished, more mature, mellow take on life. Lead riffs are still present, but dropped in the mix rather than upfront and in your face.
The flange and chorus pedals and the vocal harmonies are still present on songs like the title track, She Paints Words In Red. But the songs are not chasing their heady youth and energy but gracefully embracing a mellowing with age. Songs like Lost In The Blues owe more to country music than indie jangles; and the more uptempo tracks like Never Again are still rockin’ but erring towards toe-tapping rather than the pogo!
She Paints Words In Red is a great return to form for the House Of Love and presents the wonderful song writing partnership of Guy Chadwick & Terry Bickers in all its true glory. Along with Foals Holy Fire, this is now residing in my list of best albums of 2013 so far.
House Of Love – She Paints Words In Red track listing:
1. A Baby Got Back On Its Feet
3. She Paints Words In Red
5. Lost In The Blues
6. Low Black Clouds
7. Money Man
8. Trouble In Mind
9. Never Again
10. Sunshine Out Of The Rain
11. Holy River
12. Eye Dream
“We recorded the songs in for She Paints Words In Red in ten days in November 2012, “comments Guy Chadwick. “It was great to be recording again, and everything went to plan and gelled from the onset. Terry and I have got back to our original working relationship, with a few healthy quarrels thrown in still! We had just played a festival in Krakow, where we had a brilliant gig, so everyone was vibed up and ready to go. Pat Collier, who worked with us on most of our early recordings, was at the controls.”
“Most of the songs were written in the last year or so, and suddenly it felt like there was a set of songs that sounded like an album. The exception being PKR (Purple Killer Rose), an old House Of Love song, in my opinion one of the best songs I’ve ever written, which we reworked because I felt we didn’t do it justice last time, and Terry particularly loves it.”
“The album has some epic tracks, PKR, Holy River, Eye Dream, A Baby Got Back On Its Feet, which take the group back to our roots. Everyone involved feels we’ve got our mojo back! The group have also revisited our subtler, ballady side with ethereal songs such as Lost In The Blues and Trouble In Mind.”
House Of Love UK Live Dates in April 2013:
5th Glasgow Arches
6th Leeds Brudenell Social Club
7th Liverpool Erics
8th Manchester Sound Control
9th Bristol Fleece
10th Brighton The Haunt
11th London Scala
House Of Love – She Paints Words In Red is due for release on 1st April on Cherry Red Records.