by Bill Pearis
'House of Love' cover art
If you're looking for a holiday gift for the shoegaze fan on your list, might I suggest the new three-disc reissue of House of Love's 1988 debut album? The London quartet were one of the biggest bands from the early days of Creation Records thanks to singer Guy Chadwick's songwriting talent and distinctive voice, and an ace backing band that included guitar genius Terry Bickers. They sort of bridged the gap from the Smiths/Bunnymen mid-'80s to the Ride/Pale Saints/Moose early '90s in the UK indie scene.
The reissue, which is out now on Cherry Red, not only contains that classic first album (with killer cuts like "Christine," "Love in a Car" and "Sulphur") but also every single the band released on Creation, including their signature tune "Shine On" and the hard-to-find "Destroy the Heart." It also has an album's worth of demos, some radically different than what would appear on the album, and live cuts as well. Mind you, about one tenth of the set is versions of "Shine On," but it's worth it for the complete Creation recordings alone (as the early '00s Complete Creation Recordings is out of print). You can stream the entire reissue set below (via Rdio) and it is essential listening.
In other, maybe more exciting news, the band just dropped a bombshell via a short post on their Facebook: "Expecting delivery of the brand new House Of Love album this week, fully mastered and mixed." House of Love reformed in 2003 (including Terry Bickers who had left the band in 1989) and released Days Run Away in 2005 which was actually a really good album, so there are high hopes (from me at least) that this could be the same. Maybe they'll even tour America? We can hope.
A couple House of Love videos and the reissue set stream are below.
House of Love - "Christine"
House of Love - "Destroy the Heart"