Exposé Online banner

Houses of Heaven — Silent Places
(Bandcamp Felte no#, 2020, LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2020-09-04

Silent Places Cover art

Layered synths, guitar, electronic percussion, and live drums — you could swear you were back in the 80s listening to a new album by New Order, Heaven 17, Gary Numan, Ultravox, or John Foxx. And you would be wrong! Silent Places, released on May 1, 2020, is the new album by Oakland, California band Houses of Heaven. Silent Places is their first full length album, featuring nine New Wave songs with a definite British sound. The album opens with “Sleep,” a post-punk darkwave song mixing in techno and industrial elements much like Attrition or Killing Joke. The remaining tracks incorporate electronic rhythms, metallic percussion, sequencers, and cheesy drum machines that clone the 80s, but don’t take it beyond the retro sound. Houses of Heaven have done an excellent job copying the music of 40 years ago, but to what end? I suppose that if you are a fan of New Order, Spandau Ballet, Yazoo, Depeche Mode, etc. you would find Silent Places of interest. Other than that, the nostalgia element may not be enough to carry the album forward.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Houses of Heaven

More info

Latest news

Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Martin Gordon - God's on His Lunchbreak (Please Call Back) – Now that bassist Martin Gordon has established himself across two creditable solo records together with a crackshot band that suits his clever muse, it’s clear that he has some more pop rock damage...  (2006) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues