Ninth House is a New York City band that plays a distinctive blend of dark rock, and alt-country, managing to blend influences as varied as Johnny Cash and The Cure to produce their haunting and unforgettable sound.
The band was created in 1998 by singer/songwriter Mark Sinnis (bass, vocals). Francis Xavier plays drums and Keith Otten plays guitar. Ninth House has three full length CDs to date. The first release, “Swim In The Silence” featured the single “Injury Home” which appeared on the Fox TV show “ANGEL.”
In 2005, the band released their 2nd album, “The Eye That Refuses to Blink”. Their CD “Realize And It’s Gone” was released in June 2007 and features the Johnny Cash classic “Ghost Riders In The Sky”.
Ninth House remains active playing the New York City music circuit and have built a devoted following. All of Ninth House's music is available through Seattle-based indie Label SINister Records or 9th Recordings.
Mark Sinnis- Bass/Vocals
(Guest Violin- Susan Mitchell)
Live from CBGB- 1998
Aerosol 4 song EP-1998
Live From CBGB Gallery-1999
Swim In The Silence-2001
The Eye That Refuses To Blink-2005
Realize And It's Gone-2007
Ninth House and their record are a hit. Enough said.
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With a voice as heartfelt as Michael Stipe's and a soul in the vein of Johnny Cash New York's Ninth ...With a voice as heartfelt as Michael Stipe's and a soul in the vein of Johnny Cash New York's Ninth House tears away the conventions of what gothic music is expected to be on their latest release "The Eye that Refuses to Blink." A blend of gothic rock and undertones of country are what greets listeners on this powerful and delightful record from the catchy "The Company You'll Keep" to the classic Goth sounding "Death Song." It's easy to say that Ninth House will become a mainstay in New York 's scene… that is if they have not all ready.
A personal favorite, "The Ghost in You," is a radio worthy track that borders upon a pop sensibility that is so achingly good that it's become a personally irritating fact of musical life that Ninth House hasn't gained lasting, mainstream notoriety for their skill as song writers. Again, vocalist Mark Sinnis' tonality threatens a Michael Stipe comparison, especially when we come up upon the chorus. It is hard, as a journalist, to get away with writing a review without throwing in comparisons to established artists so hopefully this comparison will be forgiven when the band reads this. It is meant with the most sincere praise that can be offered.
Country music influences come into play on the second favorite track, "Follow the Line," which is where the Johnny Cash comparison enters. Perhaps it is ignorance on my own part at Cash's own style but that is who comes to mind in the refrain. Regardless this song sticks in one's head for hours on end and refuses to go until "Once in an Ordinary Life" takes over. This song is a complete hit and should be the third stop on a first listen pass through. Again, there are undertones of a country feel to the track but it is absolutely perfect. It wouldn't sound right any other way.
I could go on and on about how great this album is but I will allow you to decide for yourself. Purists may be interested in checking out the track "Forsaken Psalm" which features the underground legend Voltaire from NYC. There is also a little bonus in the form of "Send Me an Angel" which was originally performed by the Australian group Real Life and it is definitely a noteworthy version.
Conclusion: Ninth House and their record "The Eye that Refuses to Blink" are a hit. Enough said.
A delightful cemetery-and-western fusion that manages to combine the heaviest, pitch-black Goth tradition
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This is their second CD, a delightful cemetery-and-western fusion that manages to combine the heavie...This is their second CD, a delightful cemetery-and-western fusion that manages to combine the heaviest, pitch-black Goth tradition with rockabilly Americana. Frontman Mark Sinnis’s melodious compositions and rich vocals backed by virtuoso guitar solos, hypnotic rhythms and atmospheric synthesizer force listeners to look deep into the dark recesses of love, life and especially of death.
The album is loaded with rousing epic anthems dealing with the terrors of being at death’s door, or even one fatal step beyond, and each is a morbid masterpiece.Forsaken
Psalm, a cynical gospel number prominently featuring a pipe organ, represents a collaboration with Goth idol Voltaire. Follow the Line presents an allegory of life as a suicidal drunken drive to destruction.
One or two songs are happily written in a major key, but delivered with an irresistible rocking groove, and there are a couple of covers that do more than justice to the Real Life and Psychedelic Furs originals.
By Doktor John/The Aquarian
Ninth House - Swim In The Silence
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"Swinging from a brooding intensity that resembles Jim Morrison and the Doors to the Furs to an abs... "Swinging from a brooding intensity that resembles Jim Morrison and the Doors to the Furs to an absolutely wonderful gem buried in the middle of the disc that hearkens to the Smiths".
Here’s a bit of trivial information for you to mull over as you listen to tracks off of Swim in the Silence, courtesy of Ninth House: reading through the bio, I found, after I’d already made an assessment of my thoughts on this disc, that the band sometimes covers the “You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch” Dr. Seuss classic and an occasional Psychedelic Furs number. What’s odd about this, is that not only did I think to myself – this guy sounds a bit like Richard Butler from the Psychedelic Furs, but he would do an outstanding impersonation of the voiceover for the cartoon. Sometimes, it seems, my initial reactions aren’t far off from the mark.
Listening to this disc was an oddly pleasurable experience. In many ways, it feels like a throwback – swinging from a brooding intensity that resembles Jim Morrison and the Doors to the Furs to an absolutely wonderful gem buried in the middle of the disc that hearkens to the Smiths. Lead vocalist /bassist/lyricist Mark Sinnis seems to be something of a chameleon, although the darkness reflected in all of the previously mentioned artists is what ultimately ties the sounds together. There are simply some wonderful moments within this disc – whether it’s a singular piano run, or soaring vocals that have a strong effect on the tone of all these songs. I like the fact that the sound of Ninth House breeds a lot of familiarity to alternative bands of the past, but retains a beauty in and of itself that is fresh and inviting to the listener. There is a maturity and appreciation within the song structure that strikes a welcome chord.
The music itself absolutely deserves applause on its own. Often climactic and worked on a grand-scale that feels very organic and complex simultaneously, the intricate guitar work works well with a filtered drum sound very reminiscent of U2 – a solid underbelly that always seems to be driving the melody forward. While dark a lot of the time, the music glitters and jangles in the right places, and fills up the cracks and crevices left by the vocal performance. And what a vocal performance. Sinnis has a wonderfully rich tone – gorgeous on its own, but accentuated by the guitar and bass lines because his voice moves with an ease and versatility that would complement nearly any style of music. A natural vibrato that resembles Morissey, Martin Gore of Depeche Mode, Mark Eitzel of American Music Club, and a raw, passionate texture that emphasizes a Buckner/Jim Morrison growl makes his performance all the better. Not only does he have natural talent, but he’s able to translate the emotional element to his advantage.
Strong moments include the title track, a namesake, “Put a Stake Right Through It”, “Dissolve” and my favorite for the moment, “Your Past May Come Back to Haunt Me”. This is an amazingly well produced work, one that breeds a charm and affection for the band immediately. A great listen and an even better buy.
Ninth House - The Eye That Refuses To Blink
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Yep, it’s old (2005), but I’m glad they sent it because it’s really very good. Apparently Mark Sinni...Yep, it’s old (2005), but I’m glad they sent it because it’s really very good. Apparently Mark Sinnis’ former band Apostates ran for ten years, and I confess I never heard them, yet that experience gives this semi-trad semi-Goth band great character and strength. With him being a bassist it also gives it a fulsome flavour. The keyboards and strangely cute, the guitar relaxed and winding around relevant moments of ‘The Company You’ll Keep’, the rhythm section acting like bellows in this song (the drummer also being ex-Apostates means so they’re tight as felons), and throughout the album. The quavering vocals are wonderfully clear, kept on a fairly even keel and then able to launch upwards in urgency for extra feeling.
‘Murder’ is closer to throbby indie, with another battering from crafty drums, squealy guitars and mild-mannered but passionate singing. ‘You Can Blame It All On Me’ has a really cool guitar motif and more pressing vocal mania over a bumpy ride. The well appointed strings give ‘The Ghost In You’ a melancholy start, but it keeps cruising along, shakes off any lethargy and folds neatly at the end, as they usually do. Then the furtive ‘Jealousy’ is hushed, with some lovely damp piano beneath the creepy joint vocals with Randi Russo, although its comparatively undemanding
‘Follow The Line’ sounds like a molten cello is employed as the song glowers frumpily and spills its morose guts and you know what’s weird? It’s like an American version of New Model Army! That’s more the Goth-relevant flair we’re talking about. ‘Once In An Ordinary Life’ veers back onto a plainer indie plateau, big and rousing. ‘Forbidden Psalm’ has a flamboyant air. A fizzy dark scuffle with Voltaire on board, it’s arch drama and works very well.
‘The Eye That Refuses To Blink’ is thoughtfully slow, broody Goth with deep bass, sighing vocals and trickling guitar. It actually builds in its sombre tension with massed backing and is quite the blinder. ‘Send me An Angel’ is a lightly flame-grilled seether, and quite poppy, but with a big gritty, gruff end, and ‘Death Song’ is a solitary voice over strings and synth, then the guitar chips in and the light, becalmed vocals float gently on their waves. From there it all grows steadily more melodically forceful to a clunking, chunky end and the vocal majesty makes up for some regrettably rocktastic guitar.
It’s a really good album and the majority of songs get better every listen. Impressive.
Ninth House - The Eye That Refuses To Blink
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What can I say about The Eye That Refuses To Blink by Ninth House? Well, to be perfectly honest, n...What can I say about The Eye That Refuses To Blink by Ninth House?
Well, to be perfectly honest, nothing. Ninth House is one of a handfull of
bands whose music speaks for itself. I could sit here and tell you how
great it is, which it is, but words just won't do this album justice.
All I can say is Forsaken Psalm and Death Song are two of the best
songs. I've ever heard. In fact, this album is on of the best I've heard in a
while, I'm going to put it up there on my top 5 favorites. They're a
dark band and they bring that across in thier music with a brilliance
that rivals no one.
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Ninth House – The Eye That Refuses to Blink. The second full-length cd from these relentlessly h...Ninth House – The Eye That Refuses to Blink.
The second full-length cd from these relentlessly
haunting, goth-tinged, Americana-inflected rockers
was worth the wait. It’s arguably their best effort
to date and an instant contender for best of the
year. Ninth House sprang from the ashes of
Apostates ,a punk rock Lower East Side turned Goth
Rock band. This edition of Ninth House - two guitarists and one keyboardists later – finds the band mining darker territory than ever, with richly rewarding results.
Their first cd Swim in the Silence ranks as a
classic of New York underground rock, an ambitious,
artsy adventure ;singer Mark Sinnis
comes across as something of a cross between Ian
Curtis and Johnny Cash.
The title of the new album, The Eye That Refuses to Blink could be used to describe the listener: it’s as hard to tear yourself away from the songs on this cd as it is to tear your eyes away from the scene of a bad accident, to resist the urge to see if the ambulance crew pulls the sheet all the way over the bloody form lying motionless on the stretcher.
The cd opens auspiciously with The Company You’ll
Keep, new guitarist Bernard SanJuan’s evil, Helter Skelter-style riff building to a roaring crescendo of guitar and string synthesizer on the chorus, all the way through to the inexorable despair of the
slow walk down the scale at the end of the song.
Other standout tracks include Follow the Line, a
crashing, 6/8 ode to drunk driving; the title track;
a bitter, epic, druggy dirge, and Forsaken Psalm,
with its hymn-like overtones leading up to a
gleefully macabre lyrical joke: Manhattan goth
mainstay and author Voltaire lends his sepulchral
voice to one of the verses. As a special treat, dark
siren Randi Russo lends a gorgeously ghostly vocal
to the deathly quiet, rockabilly-tinged Jealousy.
Also included are a couple of choice covers, a
furious, guitar-driven version of the Psychedelic
Furs classic The Ghost in You as well as a
Gothic/Punk rock take on Send Me an
Angel, the 1984 radio hit by Australian
synth-popsters Real Life. The album ends on the same note it started with, another epic appropriately entitled Death Song which builds from Sinnis’ pitchblende vocals over somber strings to the manic depression of the song’s central hook, recurring again and again like a machete-wielding psycho
who can’t seem to finish off his victim.
With 80s nostalgia here in full force - Interpol
being the poor man’s Wire, Radio 4 the poor man’s
Gang of Four, the Killers a slightly less sissified
version of Duran Duran - Ninth House manages to tap
into that vein without sounding like a pale
imitation. Sure, they’ve got that big anthemic
sound, that fast 2/4 drumbeat that U2 made so
popular, the swooshy synthesized strings, those
anguished vocals and the requisite all-black
stagewear. But it’s not about the fashion or the
pose. It’s about the music, all white-knuckle
intensity as the songs plummet into the void.
Kierkegaard would have liked this band. Fans of Joy
Division, the Cure, Bauhaus and the Smiths should
check them out. But their angry, death-obsessed
sound will also appeal to fans of Pink Floyd as well
as the gamut of goth bands ranging from Death in
June to Sisters of Mercy.
Set is usually about 10-13 songs and contains all original music with one cover thrown in for fun. Right now we have been playing the Johnny Cash song "Ghost Riders In The Sky" , which always gets a great audience response. Set time can be from 30-45 mins. We can play as long as requested. Below is a typical Ninth House set list.
1)Long Stray Whim
4)Your Past May Come Back To Haunt Me
5)Mistaken For Love
7)When The Sun Bows to The Moon
10)Follow The Line
11)Ghost Riders In The Sky