2 Dec 2022

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Glasshouse Keepers - EP Review: Scratching The Surface

06 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

I was at a gig last week, and was really intrigued by the opening act, Glasshouse Keepers, very much enjoying their complex rock sound with female lead vocals, so when I realised they had released a four-track EP called Scratching The Surface earlier this year I knew I had to check it out. The band comprise Danielle Hawkins (vocals), Brian McDonald (lead guitar and screams), Linton Graetz (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), Giacobe Otty (bass) and Kevin Jaspers (drums), and they are an alternative rock band who have a great deal of complexity within the arrangement and then over the top there are Danielle’s vocals which are quite sweet and innocent in comparison. Having seen them play, I know just how much Danielle gets into the music, and while her vocals are obviously a focal point, I was intrigued with just how much work goes into the underlying arrangements. When a rock band is blasting out on stage it is quite possible for some of the niceties to be lost, but in the recorded version there is more opportunity to study what is going on and in GHK there is a lot.

Kevin never stops driving the band forward, as he is all over the place, settling back when the time is right and being far more dynamic at others – this really stands out in Better Late where there are times, he is not playing at all, others where it is just cymbals, providing a lengthy drum roll here, or just hitting hard at others. With Kevin providing so much variety it allows Giacobe to sit in with him or move more into the melody of the guitars, where Linton and Brian have very contrasting styles indeed with one riffing hard and the other moving in and out of noodling so there are elements of U2 and Simple Minds at times, with a sound which is very big indeed. Then there is Danielle whose voice and style takes the music in another direction altogether so that although what is happening in the accompaniment is massively complex, her sound is sweet and naïve, and she has the confidence to hold long notes and somehow all these elements combine to create something which is both commercial and full of depth. The four songs are all very different, yet they are all intriguing, and while immediate I discovered the more I listened to them the more I gained from it.

It will be interesting to watch these guys grow, but this is a solid debut EP and is well worthy of investigation. They call themselves alt rock/emo on Bandcamp, and they are taking those styles and pumping their songs full of hooks. Nice.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Glasshouse Keepers

Emerging in the New Zealand music scene is alternative rock band Glasshouse Keepers.

Their melodic intricacy is balanced with an explosiveness that delivers emotion. The direct yet thought-provoking lyrics will cement this band's place in your heart.

Their 2022 debut EP Scratching the Surface is a frank reflection on an ending relationship, and features the single Carbon Copy.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Glasshouse Keepers


Scratching the Surface
Year: 2022
Type: EP

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