steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The House of Assassins

"Your Days are Numbered" LP

Obsolete Media

Genre: rock, country, underground rock

Pittsburgh, USA

Nov 21, 2008

This impressive slab of vinyl brings me back to the glory days of underground rock. Pittsburgh's The House of Assassins weave pedal steel into hard-boned rock ala The Dream Syndicate, Dead Moon, and Killdozer. Perhaps it's the vinyl talking, but this is the type of thing I'd expect to find reviewed in Puncture or Option circa the late eighties. Side A combines raunchy guitars and rough, Michael Gerald-meets-Steve Wynn vocals to produce gritty rock music inflected with a country flair. The proceedings have a disshevelled quality to them, attacking the ears like a toaster dragged under a bus. This means the emphasis is on chaos rather than melody, although the songs are sufficiently hook-y to achieve the warmth of familiarity over repeated encounters.

Side B gets considerably weirder, be it the psychedelic space-rock of "White Light" or the Giant Sand-esque approach employed by "Hutcherson Ave." In between the two, there's a raunchy cover of The Kinks' "Muswell Hillbilly" and an impassioned if tiresome Killdozer exercise, "All Horses are Assholes."

Your Days are Numbered is a strange but satisfying rock record with an old-fashioned appeal to it. Few bands are making music like this today, and if gritty, unconventional country-rock sounds like your bag, be sure to pick this one up.

the house of assassins' myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 9 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2008]