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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 26, 2000)
Listener’s attention wanders around |
on House of Large Sizes’ new album |
By Josh Krauter
Rock bands come in three flavors.
The first flavor occurs when a
handful of people get together,
become a rock band and create a joy
ful noise. This noise leaves the listen
er’s ear, and makes the world a differ
ent, better place than it was before.
Purveyors of this noise manage to
create something new and alive out of
a few guitars and drums. Examples
include the Who, the Clash and
A second, weaker flavor is born
when people who never should have
met perpetuate a boring, meandering
and limited definition of rock ’n’ roll.
The Eagles, the Steve Miller Band
and Phish all belong to this school.
Then there’s House of Large
Sizes. The Iowa trio falls squarely in
that third category of bands that are
neither good nor bad, just mediocre.
There is nothing particularly
annoying or offensive about House of
Large Sizes. The band has been play
ing throughout the Midwest for years
and has built up a sizable following.
The music is a pleasant mix of hard
rock riffs and punk energy. And the
songs are relatively free of cheesy
fake sincerity and meandering guitar
But HOLS is just adequate, cer
tainly not mind blowing, and most of
the time, not even exciting. Its music
is an inessential part of anyone’s
And now the inessential House of
Large Sizes has released that most
inessential of records: a live album.
“Idiots Out Wandering Around”
-I.O.W.A., get it? - collects 22 songs
spanning the band’s career for nearly
an hour of music.
j ;; A few of die songs catch hold and
snap the listener out of the rest of the
album’s mundane feel, but mostly the
songs all run together, one indistin
guishable from the next.
There are a few interesting
moments, though. “Fingernail” rides
along on a bouncy, catchy guitar riff
reminiscent of the Pixies,
“Octupuses” and has a brutal, concise
punk sound. “Big Wet Fella” is a fat
free blues deconstruction and
“Lovely, But Deadly” gets its awe
some riffage from early Cheap Trick
(bonus points go to bassist Barb
Schilf for her Cheap Trick T-shirt in
the CD booklet).
The rest of the album, though, is a
chore to sit through. It’s music that
punk-rock kids play in the back
ground when they wash their dishes.
Singer/guitarist Dave Deibler’s
voice is underwhelming and nasal,
moving back and forth from passable
to irritating like a bored teeter-totter.
The band is lpcked into its limited
range, but unlike influences such as
AC/DC and the Ramones, whose
styles were part of a severe aesthetic,
House of Large
TITLE: Idiots Out
Wandering Around *
LABEL: What Are |
FIVE WORDS: Regional I
favorite’s live album I
HOLS tries to expand its sound with
weak results. “Glass Cockpit” slows
the grind to a crawl and never seems
to end. “Mean and Hateful” opens
with an inspired cock-rock riff, then
turns to generic indie mush.
HOLS also can’t be forgiven for
including two minutes of uninterrupt
ed crowd noise, followed by an
announcement of what band memo
rabilia is on sale at a table in the back
of the club late in the album. The
album was edited together from five
separate concerts. Why wasn’t all that
Listening to “Idiots Out
Wandering Around” is like watching
an OK movie for the second time.
You’ve seen it all before, and you’re
just waiting for it to get over.
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