Album review: HourHouse – Gold Tooth Guru

New Orleans five-piece HourHouse offer up an unrestrained debut that’s much better than its cover would have you believe…

Album review: HourHouse – Gold Tooth Guru
Mischa Pearlman

Gold Tooth Guru, the debut album from New Orleans crossover five-piece HourHouse, begins with a skit called THE SIT DOWN. What starts as a toast to some kind of illicit business ends in a blast of murderous gunfire. The rest of the album is, on the whole, no less violent – and makes you realise why every song title is stylised with capital letters. The eponymous first track essentially transforms those gun shots into music via blast beats and acerbic screaming that’s half-rap, half-metalcore, and fully ferocious.

Such intensity can’t be easy to maintain, but Gold Tooth Guru generally manages to do just that, whether musically or lyrically. Even when the over-intense riffs of BODYBAG MUSIK – which features a cameo from rapper Shaolin G – give way to a slightly less caustic moment, it maintains a brutal undertone. That’s a repeating pattern through the rest of the record, whether on crushing relentlessness of LSD, the gruesome breakdown that terrorises DO IT LIKE, or the pulverising nu metal-meets-hip-hop that is 985 CUT THROAT, a song as savage as its title. And even though 6FLOW turns down the viciousness in favour for some (relatively) chilled out hip-hop vibes, it doesn’t feel any less unforgiving.

The only exception is THE CLUB, a 42-second skit that takes places before the final two tracks and which then flows into the late night sexuality of RIDE, which is essentially the band’s take on Ginuwine’s Pony. In other words, it’s a song about sex, but more making love than simply going at it. It’s an oddly incongruous moment that doesn’t quite fit in with what’s preceded it, but which does match the sensual groove of final track CONSTRICTING THE ANIMAL.

Both those songs sound like a different band, even despite the variation and genre crossover at the centre of this record. Overall, it’s a determined if flawed first effort that doesn’t always pay off, but which nevertheless demonstrates the band’s versatility and ambition. it’s also a hell of a lot better than its truly awful cover art would suggest, so don’t let that monstrosity put you off at least giving it a go.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Linkin Park, $uicideboy$, Meshuggah

Gold Tooth Guru is out now via UNFD

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