Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

The High Cost of Low Living

Winch House

I like some pop music, shoot me.

I scroll down my MP3 player (not an iPod, so underground) and yes I would be embarrassed to show people what I listen to at times, hell I am embarrassed to listen to some of it. Yet I still do, I’m looking at you Erasure and Roxette. But more than this I listen to music that hipster kids on forums would mockingly scoff at me for. I literally hate Neutral Milk Hotel, pretentious crap. Yet I like Winch House, this I feel would be punishable by a severe flogging with Slaughterhouse 5 if those kids ever got hold of me.

So Winch House I like you. Kind of like that obviously attractive girl at the party who you know has been about a bit, you stare for a bit and laugh at her with your mates for being a bit unscrupulous when it comes to her morals, but you know deep down you probably still would. Winch House this is you! Congratulations, worst metaphor ever? Without doubt, I’m sure I’ll top myself later on though.

Titled The High Cost of Low Living, the album has all the pseudo-smart wordplay in their song titles you would expect in a modern day pop-punk record and look a song called: Woah!, I’m sure that will be a lyrical cracker (it’s not). So first impressions are not great to be fair, originality marks look to be pretty low at the moment. Luckily, the music is actually pretty good, and I suppose this is the important part (hence why I have taken 3 paragraphs to mention it).

Kicking off with You’ll Never Get Back in (With the Sick Kids) the album immediately strays into familiar territory. Looking to continue the Forever the Sickest Kids formula, of down-tuned distorted guitars and gang vocals, though thankfully dispensing of the synth, the song is simply good. Lyrics are arguably not Winch House’s strong point, but writing a catchy song seems to be. To put this in context, I have recently found a job (what recession!) and when I was listening to this on the bus to work it stayed in my head all day, almost to the point of annoyance. And for a song that is only 2:32 long, that is a pretty mean feat. In fact Winch House must be credited for realising that proper powerpop songs rarely stray above 4 minutes, thus making all their songs come in around the 3 minute mark.

But wait what is this? Sweet Taste of Summer arrives as Winch House’s first great song on the album, with an elongated intro, slightly reduced tempo and some really tight instrumental work. Oh no, wait their screaming. That aside, this is top song and one that transcends easy comparisons with FTSK and bands like All Time Low and fellow Brit-pop rockers You Me At Six and Elliot Minor. What’s a Dead Body Between Friends however does not transcend these comparisons and instead aims to almost copy their style to an embarrassing extent. With an intro that I actually thought was from a Kids in Glass Houses song, the song is about as memorable a really good fart, a moment of brief pride, then shame and then nothing.

Remember when I said I liked Winch House, well I do really, but the whole is much more than the sum of its parts. Individually the tracks really don’t stack up that well, though there are a couple of stand outs, besides the ones mentioned, Youz a Lyin’ Lion is a decent song and Lady Vengeance despite a reliance on the word “na” as a lyric, actually works as a pop-punk song. Yet, when you listen to this album through your life just seems that little bit better. And at times that is all I want from an album. Yes I know it is not ever going to get on an Album of the Year List, nor achieve much critical acclaim, but it’s fine, it will stay on my MP3 player and I will listen to it from time to time. I won’t be shouting about Winch House from the rooftops but I won’t be embarrassed to mention I listen to them either.

Listen: www.myspace.com/winchouse