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Culture Shock

House Olympics Releases First EP

I’m not going to pretend I know much about the “punk-emo-hardcore” genre, but I’ve seen House Olympics a few times now and their EP deserves some recognition. Adam (bass/vocals), Adam (drums/vocals), and TJ (guitar/main vocals) have obviously worked hard to get their work up and running in no time flat. Composed of indubitably skilled instrumental components and painfully relatable lyrics, …And My Mind is Restless is worth at least one listen.

My first impression of the four-song collection’s initial song, “Get #rekt Steve Jobs” was This is a raw-er Death Cab intro. Whether there’s any real influence there, I don’t know, but this song was, in my opinion, the most successful on the EP. It never developed into one with lyrics, and the emotional intensity it brought with it through simply instrumentals was beautiful. I used to listen to Explosions In the Sky for the same feeling brought about by the beautiful instrumental swelling… I was pleasantly surprised to find it here.

Throughout each song, the concept of the physical effects of deep emotional turmoil seemed prevalent. And yet, the music did not feel self-harming… it was more self-harmed. Emotionally reactionary, as opposed to the opposite. The physical references such as, “I’m shedding my skin like you shed your hair/And I’m wishing that you didn’t compare/Me to myself” (“Tossing, Turning, Treading”) and “Every time I see a van by the side of the road/A three-year disappointment falls on my head./It breaks my neck. It cracks my skull./And all that comes out are the thoughts you won’t hear” (“Everest”) confront issues we often deal with in relationships. These are day-to-day emotional reactions to interactions many of us have, and often we have trouble admitting to these reactions. The violent imagery is emphasized by the intensity of the instrumental accompaniment and, of course, the screaming vocals.

Otherwise, the style is typical of its genre, songs beginning with smooth instrumental intros that build into loud, somewhat overwhelming vocals accompanied by bashing drums and loud everything-else. This intensity is sometimes welcome, sometimes overwhelming, but always intentional. Young bands tend to have an inexperienced rawness to them that can get a little out of hand; House Olympics has already managed to begin taming themselves, and I only expect an upwards trajectory for the group.

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