House Of Broken Promises - 'Using The Useless' (Small Stone Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Matt Phelps   
Monday, 26 July 2010 06:10

house176Stoners behold,  A full force rockin' machine risen from the ashes of John Garcia's post Kyuss project Unida. With Unida in some sort of long term hiatus/hibernation, the three quarters of the line up that aren't JG have kept themselves busy with their very own splinter group, the riotous HOUSE OF BROKEN PROMISES! The Californian based trio that is Mike Cancino (drums), Eddie Plascencia (vocals, bass) and one time Slipknot bass tech Arthur Seay (guitar) are currently pushing their full length debut album 'Using The Useless', eleven tracks of hurt delivered with a vulgar display of desert power.

Although 'Using The Useless' has been knocking about for a good few months now it's only recently that desert winds have blown it across my path. A sonic explosion of heavy as fuck riffing backed up by a solid rhythm section and gruff vocals that positively spit gravel straight from your speakers. Just imagine if James Hetfield had spent a little less time in therapy and more time knocking about down the pub with Zakk Wylde. That's the kind of angry, passionate vocal delivery that bassist and frontman Eddie Plascencia gives in spades with opening track 'Blister'. A Black Label Society sized groove brings HOBP out swinging with a doom laden riff backing up Eddie Plascencia's Hetfield like growl. 'Blister' leavies us in no doubt from the off that this band of brothers are the real deal.

The instantly infectious 'Obey The Snake' gives us some lashings of a more straight out classic rock feel but it's no less devastating. Think The Almighty on holiday with some cactus plants in the background. One of the standout tracks on the album, it's currently getting some video makeover treatment so keep an eye out for that to be hitting the your screens some time soon. 'Highway Grit' quickens the pace with some high speed dirt while 'Justify', 'Torn' and 'Broken Life' are all slower paced. Each one as heavy and as smouldering as the next, pulsing with a desert heartbeat at their core and surrounded by a heady mix of both classic and contemporary influences giving an altogether timeless sound to a band with a modern aggressive delivery.

In fact there's far more to 'Using The Useless' than the simple "Stoner" tag may have you thinking. It's easy to pick out elements and influences from the likes of AC/DC and The Cult to Down and Corrosion Of Conformity, and at times it's even nodding towards some melodic Thin Lizzy. Black Sabbath too with Eddie's basslines constantly coming alive in a way reminiscent of some prime time Geezer Butler. Arthur, Eddie and Mike are clearly a band enjoying what they're playing and wearing their influences with pride. Musical prowess coupled with an exquisite production from the hands of Seay himself sees 'Using The Useless' putting the Indio trio firmly on a noise par with Motorhead. A loud, unrelenting, if you will, merciless assault on the senses House Of Broken Promises are exactly what Doctor Rock ordered. This is a beautiful album, perfectly crafted and flawlessly delivered. Heavy as and twice as mean but with an underlying sense of honesty and a totally refreshing bullshit free approach.

The penultimate track is the somewhat unusual  'The Ladron', unusual for the fact that it's sung entirely in Spanish. It's a cracking breakneck track, whatever the hell it's about! Then it's just left to 'The Hurt (Paid My Dues)' to be the sign-off track and it's a full scale firestorm with Plascencia's Hetfield growl ripping over Seay's almighty riffing. A tune full of power guaranteed to get your head banging. Head over to the band's myspace and check out the desert storming video for 'The Hurt' and witness the band in full effect.