It seems like every five to ten years, there’s a resurgence in music that feels familiar but not the same. It’s not new by any means, and when it happens correctly, you can’t help but get the chills when you hear it. For Turkey’s Housing Crash, that nostalgic sound from another time comes through in spades and sounds better in some ways than it did the first time around. Containing a member who is originally from Houston and was a contributing member of the Houston music scene several years ago, the new-wave-meets-alt-rock that spews forth from these guys is unmistakably fresh and familiar at the same time. On their new EP, Housing Crash, they emulate the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Magazine, and Swervedriver without really lifting from any of them. And they create a sound that’s all their own in the process. As if Richard Butler sang for The Jesus and Mary Chain, these guys offer up a sound that you’ll immediately recognize and fall for at the same time.
Opening up with big guitars that sound like they came from a Bob Mould solo project on “Noncasual,” it’s immediately apparent that these guys are seasoned musicians. The catchiness of the riffs, the snappy pace of the track’s structure, and the vocals that feel almost matter of factly all contribute to creating an infectious mixture that makes you want to hear it again and again. It feels like the strongest way to open an album. This continues on the second song, “Sticking Around,” where the band opens with a drum kit and those squealing guitars that seem to hauntingly lurk before kicking in. When they hit, they hit with a dark intensity that culminates with fast and catchy stride, making you almost forget about how strikingly it all comes together. The song takes shape in an effortless way — a wah pedal-heavy howl ruminating in the background below a scruffy riff — before the wah-effected guitar comes back with a vengeance. The sound reminds you of everything and yet nothing else at the same time. It’s like they’re as artsy and crafty as Morphine but with a direction that is more terse and focused.
By the time the third song “Creeper” comes on, you should be totally hooked. Reminding me of those happier sounding songs from The Jesus and Mary Chain, the pedal-soaked guitar tones alone are hard to turn away from. The beauty of this band, it seems, is their ability to place completely different guitar tones together and make them work together like a professional team. And they do it in a way that totally cuts out the machine-based songwriting of most of today’s music. The fourth track, “Pocket Full of Years,” was enlightening and intriguing, but it felt completely different from the rest of the songs on the release. It’s not like that’s a bad thing, as this band seems to have a sound on lock, and there are reminders of the previous tracks in that big guitar sound and those Brit pop structures. However, the closing track, “Elephant Stone,” brings back those new wave vibes in full force. While the band steers a little further from the first three songs in delivery, the moments that remind you of acts like Stone Roses and Echo & the Bunnymen shine through as they should, as the song is actually a Stone Roses cover. It’s different and still somehow the same, offering up another side to the band while still keeping things in the same vein.
There’s nothing really crazy about this band, but there’s also nothing else out there that seems too similar to what they’re doing here either, which may be what makes Housing Crash sound so engaging. By using a sound from the past and putting their own spin on it, the band definitely creates something that you’ll think that you’ve heard before, all while giving you something new to get into. You can stream Housing Crash at all of the usual places, or you can purchase it from the band directly when they perform in Houston on Thursday, Aug. 10. The 21 & up show at Notsuoh will feature members of Brand New Hearts as the backing band, while performances from The Escatones and Emily Davis & the Murder Police will go on prior. The doors are at 9 pm with a TBA cover.