This Town Is Murder

The House Lights

Chapter Records, 2004

REVIEW BY: Tammy Childs


The entertainment world is a harsh place for independent thinkers. And in music, particularly, it is a dog-eat-dog business. Autonomous artists have the flexibility of creative freedom and artistic control, but must battle for recognition within the masses of contemporary artists that have managed to land a record contract.

Coming out of Allentown, Pennsylvania, the band called The House Lights comprehends what it takes to make it in the real rock-world. Beginning as Four Minute Mile, they have now evolved into a feisty, dedicated foursome of men that, first and foremost, really just want to share their music. When I asked the reasons for choosing music as their creative outlet, Kyle Campbell (vocals and guitar) responded, "I just don't have the body to be a Chippendale's dancer." But like the other three members -- John Timko (guitar and vocals), Leo Wasielewski (bass) and Travis Turner (drums) -- Campbell acknowledges that the creative outlet chose them, rather than the other way around.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This indie band debuts with the album This Town Is Murder. Lyrically strong and forthright, they begin with "Proclamation." These guys know how to express themselves not only through music but also by word (Kyle is the lyrics man). In a twisted sort of way, their harmonies are reminiscent of the Beatles and this is most evident on "Box Cutter." Going in a different direction and softening things a bit, "The Shape I'm In" is my favorite of the album. "Against These Valley Walls" changes shape and delivers a repetitive onslaught of music. "Beat the Dragon" immediately returns you back to the same style expressed on all the remaining cuts.

Reluctantly, I must admit this album doesn't really provide enough variety for me; the music is too repetitious. But I find that often occurs in today's rock genre. That doesn't mean that I didn't like their musical offering; I actually did. It is obvious they have put forth a lot of energy and thought into their work -- it's peppered with integrity and legitimate effort. Untethered and unconcerned about the future, they will undoubtedly generate for themselves a devout fan following. I look forward to future endeavors, and to watching this group continue to grow creatively and follow their musical imaginations down a path that's already etched for them.

Rating: B

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© 2005 Tammy Childs and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Chapter Records, and is used for informational purposes only.