Hora Douse, a “Mancunian rock band from Leeds”, have got ambition. This much is clear from the opening bars of eponymous track ‘Crash’. It would be way too easy to slap a ‘these dudes sound like early Brand New/Braid/insert your favourite emo band here’ on Hora Douse, but one thing that they may have in common with these contemporaries is that they know how to craft a hook, and they know how to get your attention in less than 30 seconds.
‘Crash’ may hark back to the early Long Island scene, and its chorus could easily stand toe to toe with any track on Your Favourite Weapon. It’s full of emotion and melody, backed up by a crisp guitar tone and impeccable rhythm. ‘Bored’, by contrast, is furious and relentless; its grunge-tinged fade-in belies a frantic, two-minute assault. There’s flashes of that classic British alt-rock sound a la Hell is for Heroes or Reuben lingering within, along with one hell of a breakdown towards the end. But nothing compares to the masterpiece that is ‘Speak’. It begins with pretty, languishing riffs, leading to poignant and gentle vocals. “I am better now that I am free,” sings Tom Lee, following a slick transition from ethereal riffs to a solid rhythm and an incredible instrumental section that lasts until the end of the track. It’s a bold move, and one that leaves you wanting.
Therefore, the one thing lacking from Crash is longevity. While it’s definitely a record I’ll be pulling tracks from to put on mixtapes, or to add to my ever-growing ’emo revival’ playlist, there’s simply not enough here to showcase just how great Dora House are and to keep them in the forefront. The band are currently in the midst of writing for their debut full-length, and it just can’t come soon enough. Dora House are impressive, the sound they create is vital, and a full-length record will help them to get the recognition they so deserve. So head to Bandcamp, sling a couple of quid their way, get some great music and pave the way for something even greater to begin.
4 out of 5 high fives!