I never would have pegged garage-rock kids The New House as the type to turn to Animal Collective for inspiration. There debut album sounded plenty pleasant, but never hinted at anything beyond simple post-Strokes rock aspirations. Which is why the group’s two latest demos posted to MySpace come as such a shock. Gone are the fuzzy guitars and straightforward rhythms, replaced by weirdo beats and Panda Bear chanting. Even more shocking – The New House sound totally comfortable in this guise, making “Transparent Box” and “No Title” the most exciting songs the band has put out to date.
“Transparent Box” earns the AC comparisons too easily, as its broken-carnival-ride beat and lovely background singing evokes the bubbly “Unsolved Mysteries” to a tee. It also marks another milestone for the young band – at slightly over six minutes, it’s the longest tune they’ve ever penned. But nothing ever drags, as the band rockets into a more free-floating territory around the 4:30 mark. It drives the Animal Collective comparison home even further while also making it clear it may have been lurking in them the whole time. They’ve always done the sing-chanting over one another but now it really adds something to the total package. “No Title” brings back the guitars but keeps the length of “Transparent Box.” Unlike that demo track, “No Title” stays relatively subdued, The New House pulsing a simple beat down the middle of the song while the guitars and vocals jump rope over it. Things get a little muddier in the song’s second half (only real quibble with these tunes – they both pretty much follow the same script), the band giving into chaos and letting the song sort of suck itself in. I’m stunned these are simply demos…they blow everything else they’ve done before away like a smartbomb.
The New House will play a few upcoming dates in America, including a jaunt at South By Southwest and opening up for The Black Lips at a few gigs. They are also playing in Oxnard, CA…where my grandma lives. Not sure why, but cool choice.