Arthouse Hours
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Arthouse Hours

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Arthouse Hours. Hmmm... I’m thinking elegantly pale, floppy haired students. Sculpted little chin beards. More money than talent, playing techy art rock with the best instruments daddy can buy and all of the technical tricks down pat except that special one which lets you write an interesting song.

I should listen to the music...

(LATER) OK. Take that techy art-rock band and all of their instruments and put them all into a great big tin. With a load of knives. And some wasps. And a bear. Then roll it down a hill. Yeah, that’s more like it.

Arthouse Hours (Terrible name. Sorry guys) are from Russia – St. Petersburg, to be exact – and describe themselves as ‘progressive’. Now, that’s entirely up to them, but I don’t reckon it really explains what it is that they do. Dammit, I’m struggling to explain exactly what it is that they do, and I’m listening to it right now.

Except for the Blade Runner-esque intro, ‘One’s Rising’, the whole album (EP? 6 tracks, 24 minutes. You decide.) is largely a headlong rush of demented, clattering chaos-rock. Song two, ‘Heavily Assaulted’ is a prime example. Fades in and, 5 minutes later, fades out again. In between, guitar and bass go chugachugachugachug, vocals veer from a spooky croon to unhinged screaming, and occasionally, in the background, somebody is raping a trumpet. It’s all quite exciting, really.

Next, ‘Nitride/Oxide’, is more of the same, but with less trumpet. There’s a bit, the last quarter, where it sounds a bit like The Hives. If The Hives were totally mental. ‘Like This’, same again, but faster, as if played at the wrong speed. Always right on the verge of totally falling apart.

The last two songs display a bit more control, and are all the better for it. ‘Away’ still features some weird tumbling rhythms, but manages to make some order out of the chaos, and the vocals remain as demented as ever.

And finally, ‘One’s Quitting’, right at the end, and worth the wait. This is terrifying. Industrial, but not industrial like Rammstein or Ministry. Industrial like a fucking huge factory with great big hammers smashing down on great big anvils. Vocals degenerate into a bestial roar. I imagine Hell might sound a bit like this.

Arthouse Hours are batshit mental. It doesn’t always work, but when it does it can be pretty darned exhilarating, and I’m guessing that it takes enormous skill to sound so chaotic without losing control. You can read all of that stuff above, but it won’t really tell you what they sound like. Go listen to them and decide for yourself. Then YOU can tell ME, because I don’t fucking know. - Beard Rock


There's not much to give away the origin of Arthouse Hours, except maybe the mirrored satellite photo of St Petersburg being used as their cover art work on the "All For One" EP. Initially with the guitar sound you almost have expectations of what is to follow being very "Muse" like. Surprisingly it doesn't head in that direction at all, opting for very screamo type vocals in a lot of instances, and it's a lot darker (understatement). This is not a happy feel good EP! According to the band it centres around an individual under stress who has conflicting thoughts on the break up with the object of desire. It's almost as if they've gone for a Slowdive (Souvlaki Space Station esque), mixed it with My Bloody Valentine, and ran it through the "punk" filter.

Opening track "One's Rising" has that Blade Runner / Star Trek "V'Ger" moment to it, before propelling into "Heavily Assaulted", and that's pretty much what your ears will feel like. It's very disorientating. Muse like guitars, space/shoe gaze type vocals interspersed with heavy duty screamo shouting and some orchestral highlights, everything but the kitchen sink has been thrown at it. "Nitride/Oxide" deviates from the first track with a slightly deceptive start, before reverting back to form.

There's a good chance that "All For One" is going to polarise opinion, whilst with others, is going to leave them dazed and confused. I dread to think what the mosh pit is like at their live gigs! - The Jitty


Originating from Russia’s cultural capital, St Petersburg, Arthouse Hours deserve attention, at least at WithGuitars for their multi-ear heavy rock influences taken from the like prog, metal and industrial, the overall blend is one of a harder rock melodic prog-induced Frankenstein- fusion resulting in Arthouse Hours being towards the forefront of the Russian alternative scene.

’One’s Kissing’ opens the mini-album of around 24 minutes,as a short (shy of a minute) introduction, as a piece of music it can’t really be bothered, so it’s to track 2 most will turn, ‘Heavily Assaulted’ works much better, it is the point where you understand what the fuss may indeed be about. But it’s ‘Nightride / Oxide’ is the song that confirms the proto-idea, that ‘All For One’ is a worthy listening exercise. ‘Like This’ is solid song that is effective and powerful, just their sound at times, is reminiscent of past heroic outings by many an alternative band making more sense, of the banal everyday, but so far nada, Arthouse Hours not quite scaling the heights, not that they are too far away. Pinning my hopes on the 7 minutes and counting of ‘Away’ which starts well with a sweet guitar opening before the sugared psychedelic turns guttural spit of descending vocals, over Mothers of Invention like guitar-breaks, scattered elongated musical passages, overall works well, starting to get the layered differences as refrains drift over alt guitar rhythmic guitar musings before, cutting, chopping their way down the scales to close, ‘Away’ deserves the 7 minutes a solid slab of musical expression which works.

Not to difficult to understand the respect Arthouse Hours have, indeed many will respond to their alternative fare, live the band should be on even more comfortable ground, that seems the next logical move to further expand the touring commitments. Arthouse Hours are a welcomed addition. 7.1/10 - WithGuitars


Russian 'prog-metallers' are streaming a new track from their record that's out next month, which apparently contains 'a hefty cannon of Russian-born riffs'.

Yes, the press release actually uses the phrase 'prog-metallers. I think they're being serious about it. As usual, I want to suggest that 'you couldn't make this stuff up', except that someone quite clearly has just made this up. What in fuck is a hefty cannon? What does a Russian-born riff sound like? Whilst I can't answer you these questions, I can attempt to write a more ungainly but also more informative tag-line to help you decide if you're interested in this review: 'Russian band that sound like The-Strokes-meets-Screamo-but-Dadaist are streaming a new track from their record, which judging by this promo contains a whole bunch of riffs stolen from Converge.' How's that for PR?

So, for the few people still reading who want to know if this is a good The-Strokes-meets-Screamo-but-Dadaist record, or just another boring, formulaic effort that doesn't really stretch beyond the accepted confines of the genre: maybe a bit of both? Yeah it's not for everyone, but if you dig this kind of music there's enough to keep you interested without anything to really make you jump out your seat. For example, some of the experimental-metal (sorry!) bits sound less 'experimental' than one would hope, the prominence of the bass in the 'rock' riff screams 'Strokes' second record' and it's mostly in a solid 4/4 despite the odd excursion; it's a lot more 'rock' than it might first sound. On the other hand, some of the vocals sounds new and exciting (there's like three different styles, including one which just wails over the top sometimes which is pretty cool), and it's not like there's tons of bands out there doing this kind of thing, which is worth appreciating if you feel starved of your 'like rock, but weird' fix. All in all, it's a decent promo track that should pique your interest for the record if you like this kind of thing and also happened to conveniently forget there was already a new Dillinger Escape Plan record this year. - a3music


This is easily one of the strangest pieces of music I have ever heard.

Hailing from Russia, Arthouse Hours sound like a band that want to fit into the genre of experimental-metal with the likes of Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge – or try to create their own style. This 6 track EP is extremely dark sounding, especially in the vocal department, but at the same time the vocals are the most interesting feature.

After you get through the opener “One’s Rising”, a 1 minute instrumental song that sounds like something straight from the minds of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, you will hear the dark sounds of a guitar riff and drums fading into place that leads you into “Heavily Assaulted”. I can guarantee you won’t expect something like this. It’s a track that has a very black metal vibe, a really cool section of strings in the background and vocals that are very hard to explain; and even though they are slightly terrifying, they are quite engrossing. And this is only one of the three styles of vocals on this EP. Yes, I know that sounds weird, right? This is kind of how the whole thing feels throughout.

“Nitride/Oxide” has a pretty cool riff, but I could not come to grips with the odd drum beat. At this point I just did not know what more to expect and then “Like This” starts, well, happening. It cracks into a indie-pop riff with vocals that seem full of joy, before exploding into a wall of noise. I’m sorry, but what is going on here?

I really have never heard anything like this, and I don’t know if it’s a good thing. Obviously, originality is great to have and there are moments that I enjoyed, but I can’t figure out what makes me enjoy it. While listening to it I was never tapping my foot or nodding my head along. I just stared with my mouth open thinking to myself four words: this is just bizarre. - SeenItHeardIt


There was a time when no one would refer to themselves willingly as prog, but the term is coming back, and today we’ve got a band who dub themselves ‘prog-metal’. We’ve only heard one track from St. Petersberg’s Arthouse Hours, from forthcoming album ‘Like This’, but we’ve already got a handle on what prog-metal appears to be: everyone in a metal band playing loudly, insistently, and not necessarily pleasantly. If you hate pop music, you won’t get much further away than when this song really kicks off about twenty seconds in. The album is out in July. - Supajam


They have given me a tough one to review here as my knowledge of the genre (progressive rock, post-hardcore) is limited mainly by my disdain for it. I have heard that progressive rock existed after 1976 but never actually realised it was real… my ears have consequently closed to its squarks and noodly bits and I can generally stomach only brief snippits of it. So while I walk into this review with an open mind, my heart is screaming: No!

Having said all that, the band Arthouse In Your Waking Hours, have to their credit produced an original piece of music in their debut album “View Of Notre Dame”, it certainly steers well away from the indie rock copycats who seem to be everywhere at the moment. As you would expect from a prog album, it is clearly a guitar led rock piece, moving from thrash shred-ups to more progressive Steve Howe-ish melodic riffs, which are a million miles an hour. They are masters of their instruments without any doubt. Similarly the vocals fly from screams in one verse to falsetto the next, no easy feat.
The song structures are complex and unorthodox and this is a breath of fresh air as you never know where they are going next. Likewise, time signatures seem to change from bar to bar, and if this is your genre of choice it will excite and confound in equal measure; the band never rest for a moment and they don’t expect their audience to either.

“View Of Notre Dame” is an album proper. It requires your attention from track 1 to track 7, in that order: don’t put this on shuffle, if you do your are missing the point (Pink Floyd have won a court battle with EMI over this same principle and won). It includes 2 “Interaction” tracks that are really guitar feedback noises, but they add a break from the remaining ‘0-100 in 3 seconds’ songs around them… this is necessary and their place in the running order should not be underestimated or ignored. When an artistic decision is made like this, we should be celebrating their courage.

The actual songs however after continual listening (which is my job, I do not ever turn off after the first 10 seconds), are stunning. They have in fact turned me back on to prog, well maybe not 70’s prog, but whatever this new incarnation is, I like it.

If nothing else makes you buy this album on 20 January 2011, check out the song title “Stacked In Cellophane, Suffering From Air. Part c: Here Intimacy Comes As The End”: stunning. Also if it makes any difference (and it did to me) the band Arthouse In Your Waking Hours is from St Petersburg, Russia. A place I have visited and fell in love with, despite being almost arrested there. I welcome this release as if it were my only son. - GetToTheFront.co.uk


Discography

All For One. Released 22 July 2013.

Track streaming:
http://www.supajam.com/news/story/New-Music-Arthouse-Hours
http://planetmosh.com/arthouse-hours-stream-new-track-like-this/
http://www.heavyhardmetalmania.net/2013/06/russian-prog-metallers-arthouse-hours.html

Reviews:
http://www.seenitheardit.com/2013/07/ep-review-arthouse-hours-all-one/
http://www.rocknreelreviews.com/review/arthouse-hours-all-for-one/
http://www.withguitars.com/arthouse-hours-all-for-one-given-records/
http://www.a3musiconline.com/reviews/single-reviews/arthouse-hours.html

View of Notre Dame. Released 20 January 2011.

Photos

Bio

Hailing from St Petersburg, Russia, Arthouse Hours set about creating their breed of metallic Prog-rock since 2010.
The band's ascent to the forefront of the city’s alternative music scene was a swift one, in the wake of a first mini-album release (View of Notre Dame) in 2011. Putting the stress of several line-up changes behind them, the band formerly know as Arthouse In Your Waking Hours, locked themselves away in their own custom built studio, charged with the task of writing and recording their sophomore record. Citing multi-era heavy rock, Prog, Industrial and Metal influences such as Yes, Converge, Godflesh and The Fall of Troy, Arthouse Hours wield a steady hand at the production desk too, always careful to allow space for them to nod towards their heritage whilst administering their own force on the proceedings.