Dave House - See That No One Else Escapes (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Dave House

See That No One Else Escapes (2007)


Meet Dave House. If you're familiar with House's full-time band over in the UK, the Steal, you'll know that he tends to be well-known in some parts for spitting gravelly, rapid-fire lyrics over a fun, fast-paced melodic hardcore base. Maybe that's why his solo work is a bit of a (pleasant) surprise.

With House's second full-length, See That No One Else Escapes, the singer/songwriter crafts an album of folky, charming indie pop/rock that gives more nods to bands like the Weakerthans and even the Postal Service than any `80s-styled pop-punk or hardcore act. However, it doesn't seem like a mere vanity project, since House actually manages to write some infectious, well-polished and easily sing-able songs while retaining a dash of experimentation and substance.

Diversity is a strong point for See That No One Else Escapes, from the upbeat jangle of "Beep Beep (Hi Hi)" and its clearly Beatles-inspired chorus to the slowed down, TPS-esque tracks like the heart-fluttering "The Scottish Coast" and the downtrodden, multi-instrument(al) "Carry You." Multiple effects on House's vocals also give nice identities to individual tracks and help prevent any argument that the songs may run together too much. Sometimes House kicks it up a notch, like in the mid-tempo rock of the excellent and earnest "All D's, No Future," or the trad-folk-laden, quaint acoustic number "For an Afternoon." "Old Girl Back" should make any modern punk fan smile; it's a piano ballad about House and his 'old girl's music tastes growing apart ("but when you told me you liked the Klaxons / I just had to briefly walk away / ... / so it took a few months but yes I got it back / got the Jade Tree catalogue on its original formats").

See That No One Else Escapes cements Dave House not only as an excellent songwriter but a prolific and talented song arranger. Hopefully future efforts from him are as striking and honest.

See That No One Else Escapes

[House released See That No One Else Escapes last year in the UK and is currently seeking U.S. distribution.]