Released: 2011, Frontiers Records
For some reason it just makes me happy that a band like House of Lords is still alive and kicking after 20 years. Their style of heavy, catchy, melodic rock hasn’t been in style for a good 17 of those years, and they’ve lost founding member Greg Giuffria along the way. Still, James Christian keeps the flame burning and simply refuses to change with the times, sticking with the style that made his name simply because he loves it. Awesome.
I absolutely LOVED the band’s last album, 2009’s phenomenal CARTESIAN DREAMS, so I couldn’t wait to listen to BIG MONEY. Actually, the title of the album threw me off a bit because it just seems so...uninspired. I don’t know if that coloured my first listens to the album or not, but I was severely underwhelmed by this album at first and I couldn’t figure out why. Christian’s vocals are still as strong as ever, the band’s mix of guitar and keyboard melodies was intact, but somehow the hooks were missing. Track after track just slipped by me until the infectious “Hologram” hit me. From there, the remaining three songs really struck me and reminded me of why this band is so great. In fact, even now I’d say that the last four songs on the album are the strongest.
With the hope of those songs still ringing in my ears, I kept listening to the rest of the album, and it finally hit me: I’ve been crazy and this is a really good album! Maybe not as good as CARTESIAN DREAMS, but still more than worthy of the House of Lords name. The last album made such an immediate impact on me and I wasn’t expecting the opposite of this one – for it to be an album that required multiple listens to sink in.
When all is said and done, BIG MONEY definitely lives up to my expectations. It’s the rare hard rock album that seems to get better with each spin, and now I can’t get enough of it.