I’ve spent the last two days listening to nothing but what I believe to be my 10 favorite albums of the year. I finished the last record just minutes ago, The Flaming Lips’ The Terror. After listening to nothing but those ten records since Sunday afternoon I can safely say that I made the right choices. Numbers 11 through 20 are nothing to stick your nose up at, but 1 through 10 are by far the most-played and loved by me this year. It’s been a great year for music. If you didn’t find something or several things to love about music this year, then, well, I guess you didn’t. I’m not gonna bust your chops about it or anything. But really? Nothing?
So to refresh the palate I thought I’d throw on one of my favorite albums of 2012. House Of Bread’s Hypnic Jerk was a great mix of dream pop and shoegaze haze that was the highlight of the summer of 2012. House Of Bread was a band out of Fort Wayne, Indiana, started by Omar Afzaal in order to record some intimate bedroom songs when he wasn’t recording in Castles with his best pal Bob Haddad. Well, Haddad heard these little bedroom songs and wanted in on the action so House Of Bread became a duo. What does this album sound like? A mix of electronic pop, swathes of synth spread over the proceedings, and reverbed guitars hang over the tracks like a purple cloud…or something. One of the real highlights for me(there are many on this album)is side b’s opener “Defeated Bones”. It’s a mix of Pornography-era Cure, Blue Bell Knoll Cocteau Twins, and a touch of early Smashing Pumpkins. It’s an epic track that puts a pretty bow on the sound House Of Bread were going for(and triumphantly achieved.)
“Lampshade Dreams”, “There Are Rooms We’ve Never Shown You”, and “Psychic Races” all deliver the goods. You never get the feeling Afzaal and Haddad were in any hurry to reach the end of these songs. They say the journey is just as important than the destination. House Of Bread proved that track by track on Hypnic Jerk.
***Omar Afzaal moved to New York in early 2013, leaving House Of Bread in indefinite hiatus, while Bob Haddad moved out to the Pacific Northwest. Here’s to a long distance internet recording session and a follow-up someday. Someday.