Haunted House La Vida Es Dificil Pero Bonita Cuando Hace Sol y el Cielo Es Una Mierda

[Adonis Music; 2005]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: art-damaged pop, piano-driven indie, new nostalgic music
Others: the bands at the end of any teen movie through a distortion pedal

The production on Haunted House's latest release sounds really cool. The drums and vocals are all overdriven and distorted -- really gritty. And then the songs are super pop-happy-running-through-a-field-with-a-loved-one/happy-ending-credits-roll-'80s-movie-school-dance-sequence. The aesthetic is the closest I've heard to a karaoke after-party of a new wave prom, processed through a megaphone. I've been known to jam the CD on Friday nights and in the hypothetical event of me both getting a car and taking it on a "road trip." In other words, it's an album of celebration. I've got just two concerns for this album: (1) I'm curious if this band could pull it off live, or if they do something crazy to make up for the fact that there's no effects on everything. Plus, I just found out the band is just one dude, and that always raises questions about live shows. (2) So it's recorded totally awesome and it's fun to listen to and everything. BUT, it's very much a novelty. I usually get bored with it before I make it through all nine songs. Consequently, I have the first song totally memorize and the last ones I hardly know at all. Verdict: It's a fun album. It makes my cut for a song or two on a mix tape. Oh, I also have to mention, the artwork on this bad boy is pretty sweet. It uses absurd CGIs in a really surreal context. The back looks like a Magic Eye picture with a collage of owls, bikini-clad women, and dogs, but I couldn't get any hidden 3-D to pop up at me. Dang.

1. Let the Windows Sing
2. There Will Be Nothing Left
3. Forest Firre
4. Dramatic Beachouse
5. Bloody Lips Kissing
6. Movie Lips
7. Cowboy Light
8. The corners of the room have sucked
9. A War of Ringing Bells

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