June 22, 2013

Hausu


The brilliance of making rock music is that it can mean so many things depending on who's listening to it, and in the case of rising Portlandians Hausu, they've bent former and current models of the genre wide open into an experience that's not at all easy to stick into one corner or another. Since 2010, the quartet of guitarist / vocalist Ben Friars Funkhouser, bassist Carl Hedman, drummer Santi Leyba and guitarist Alex Maguire have been knotting post-hardcore, SST punk, noise and garage-y guitar rock in between their studies at Reed College where they collectively met (Hedman has since graduated while his bandmates await one more year before earning their diploma,) resulting in music that transforms their desolate and weird fixations into enthrallingly original organic chemistry. To some extent, Hausu would have fit in with bleaker indieisms of the late '90s emo scene, as Funkhouser's lyrics are penned around themes of soft, romantic anguish and morbid poetry ("If our bodies were to meet / It would feel like this / Cathartic and empty / Swirling distance from the stairs / Cold and gray when you wake up in my room / Without me..." reads one verse from "Chrysanthemum") while his voice can be held up in pieces as he pushes each line out while bearing a heavy slouch or unexpected breakdown. July 25th marks the release of Hausu's hard-to-define debut album Total (available on CD and LP via Sub Pop imprint Hardly Art and on cassette through Bridgetown Records.) It's an effort which the band calls a "public document," as it's comprised of material recorded over the past two years across the northwest that's reflective of their evolution in individual influences as well as emotions. It goes without saying that each member of Hausu brings an entirely different perspective to their end product, and two fights later, it somehow all connected at the same point. The band is currently en route across the States, where they're playing mostly DIY spaces and will share the stage with the Men (whose Ben Greenberg mixed their debut effort,) Milk Music and Destruction Unit alongside appearances at Los Angeles' Murica Fest and Portland's gigantic Music Fest NW along the way.

Hausu - "Leaning Mess"

Hausu - "Chrysanthemum"

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