Toledo, Ohio-based group HOUSE TOURS are releasing their new EP “All of This Happened, More Or Less” today via streaming servcies and we’re stoked to to give a bunch of insights about their project and share a brief interview below! The five members of the group have collaborated at many stages and in many iterations of the Toledo emo, indie, and punk family trees over the past twenty years. Often described as a “band’s band”, House Tours’ technical approach to its emotional mathy-punk music often contrasts nicely with simple hooks and sometimes jarring but thoughtful lyrics.
“Eventually We’ll Be Swimming” was a COVID recording project that resulted in three songs (“Floaty Boaty”, “All of this happened, more or less”, “I was never able to become a banker”).
The three songs are packaged as an A-Side/B-Side full-length LP with their 2017 release “This Whole Thing is a Lie” as the B-side. The three new songs touch a bit of emo, indie pop, hardcore, and punk, driven primarily by fast technical guitar work over often complex rhythms and a catchy vocal.
Have you ever been to a house show where the air inside almost felt sacred? Like the offerings of empty PBR cans and the incense replaced by DIYers’ sweat resembled some sort of sacrificial rite? For many of us, that sense of community and youthful abandon has been lost over the past year. But, what if I told you there was an EP that could transport you right back to your friends’ basement venue with some kind of silly name and a weed reference as the wi-fi password?
Enter House Tours, a new band from the minds who brought you the Little Elephant living room sessions. The name says it all; this is a band that understands how to capture the vibe of the legendary Toledo house venue scene on their records. From the ashes of Toledo punk giants Shitty Neighbors and Toledo indie-folk mainstays The Miracle Vitamins, five friends gathered together for a recording project during the height of the pandemic. And now, with the release of All of This Happened, More or Less, House Tours are leading us back into the promised land of emo revival.
While the EP is only three songs, it makes up for it in an endless sea of riffs and a series of quick, perfectly executed tempo changes. The title track has that angsty, urgent triumph of artists like Jeff Rosenstock, but displayed through the lens of twinkly riffs like American Football or Algernon Cadwallader. The carefree groove of “Floaty Boaty” will have you bobbing your head up and down in seconds. With big, chordy stabs giving way to complex riffs and gorgeous vocal melodies, this second song is sure to grab your attention. Last but not least, “I Was Never Able To Become A Banker” features some of the most technical playing on this EP. From the drumming to the riffage, there’s something immediately infectious and almost danceable about this song. As it moves into the slower section, you can hear how tight this band is. There’s not a note missed. Everything is perfectly placed.
Emo has an odd role in the modern musical landscape. It’s simultaneously music of the mind and body, allowing listeners to groove and sway all while confronting the demons that lurk in our minds. House Tours get it. This band has poured out their collective heart on these recordings – the passion is audible in every note. All of This Happened, More or Less is due out October 2021, and is the A-side of a forthcoming album. I can’t wait to hear what the B-side has in store for us.
Toledo has a kind of reputation as a legendary house venue city. Do you feel that House Tours is keeping that spirit alive?
Despite one possible interpretation of our band name suggesting we are super into house shows, we’ve only dipped our toes into the Toledo house show scene. Shout out to Holland Haus though. Hit us up!
What lessons did you learn from Little Elephant that helped with the recording side of these songs? Were the songs tracked live?
Yeah, we drew on a whole bunch of experience doing live sessions and tracked all but the vocals live. It’s hard to specify any lessons in particular, but we are really comfortable in this space!
Are there any thematic elements that appeared in the lyrics?
Yeah! Most of our songs are based on true stories, not necessarily (well, almost never) from our own lives/
What can we expect on the B-side of the forthcoming album?
So it’s three new songs on the A side. On the B side, it’s our 2017 EP “This Whole Thing is a Lie”. We’re proud of those tracks and are excited for people to revisit them or hear them for the first time.
What’s next for House Tours? Where can listeners find you in the next few months?
We release the LP at the Ottawa Tavern in Toledo on 10/16/21. Beyond that you can find us on Spotify and gigging around Ohio. Saving our energy for hopefully a large arena tour in 2022!
Asked about their top list of favorite Toledo, Ohio bands, HOUSE TOURS has it:
Cobra Pit – New Toledo melodic punk band full of our pals. They just put out their first two songs, both bangers. Got that early Hot Water Music / Small Brown Bike sound.
Take Weight – Our dear friends and allies – perhaps the fastest punk band in the Midwest.
Daniel Cotter – A new Toledo singer/songwriter, who just released their first track on streaming services a few weeks back. Understated, thoughtful, and a little haunting.
Summer School – A now-Cleveland band by way of the Toledo music scene – such a cool modern dance/disco sound.
Shitty Neighbors – Toledo’s own juggernaut of loud and rough pop punk, with whom we share two members.
Teamonade – Groovy band, great people. Now-Cleveland by way of Toledo.
Violent Bloom – Toledo’s female led chamber pop group. Staples in the Toledo scene.
Twin Frames – Chorus heavy indie pop band from Toledo. Smooth Joy Division vibes.