(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
Eight torturous, long years after the release of their full-length album ‘Using The Useless’, the Indio, CA. hard rock trio House Of Broken Promises return with new music.
Well, SOME new music, but hey, some is better than none in my book, especially when it comes to this particular band.
Having just dropped on October 6th, from Heavy Psych Sounds, the trio of Arthur Seay (Unida, ApeSh!t), bassist / vocalist Joe Mora (HDR, Street Drugs DTLA, The Adicts) and drummer Mike Cancino (Unida, Lynch Mob), deliver the “Twisted” EP. What an altogether twisted take on things this sucker is, too!
Consisting of two unreleased tracks, two incredible cover songs, two demo-quality numbers and one live song from ’09, “Twisted” is as much a sonic statement as it is a title. As a huge HoBP fan myself, I immediately notice some major differences between this new offering and past material.
Where the older stuff was more polished and perhaps more groove oriented, such is not the case here at all… and it is a wonderful thing.
The differences are most notable right out of the gate with the unhinged EP title cut, “Twisted“. Its meld of choppy guitar riffs and furious drumming exude an almost punk rock-like feel at points. A high-fueled blues number that will have you breaking a sweat before it is over, but it barely hints at what is about to come.
“Toranado” is a high-energy barnstormer that tears ass right off the line with breakneck paces and dizzying time signatures. It pulls out all the stops and goes careening like some amphetamine-powered pinball, hitting everything in sight. All while the vocals and the inhumanly hurried “shut the fuck up!” choruses are infectious as all get-out.
Now, the two covers tackled here are pure genius, with the first a classic rock radio staple known and loved by all, Billy Squier’s “The Stroke“. Of course, the House-mates put their own energized spin on it, keeping the levels pegged in the red and never letting up. Props on the fret-roasting solos contained within it, too.
Second up is a song from Black Sabbath’s seminal ‘Heaven And Hell’ album, “Lady Evil” and I’m so glad things don’t stray too far off from the original here. Granted, we can each admit that, with all due respect, there was only one Ronnie James Dio and no one’s gonna touch him in the vocal department. That said, everything else about this reinterpretation is superb.
What remains are two demo-quality songs, the haunting “Panzaram“, a darkly hued, doomier song and “Straight Jacket“. The latter differs from the typical fare this band usually seems to transmit. Together, each provides an intriguing glimpse into the band’s underlying diversity.
That glimpse, I can only guess, is to what may be some of the possible musical direction of the long-awaited sophomore full-length from House Of Broken Promises, “The New Dystopia“. It remains to be seen and heard, of course.
“Twisted” also includes a live version of the popular “The Hurt (Paid My Dues)” from the ‘Using The Useless’ début. All in all, this hold-over outing known as “Twisted” is a more than adequate venture, one providing fans with an inclusive oversight into the band’s past, present and future.
It is a definite MUST for both fans of House Of Broken Promises or those of stoner-fied heavy rock either one. You can check it out for yourself via the Bandcamp embed of the full EP below.