Dave Hause - Resolutions
Record Label: Paper+Plastick
Release Date: January 24, 2011
The definition of a solo record can be quite damning to most, if not all, musicians. The idea that you are putting your band's identity on the line to branch out and make your own sound? That's a lot of pressure to stand up to. When you have big expectations to meet, it can crush one's genius spirit. Guess that's why the ones we enjoy hearing from on their own, without a band around, are simple men with plenty of talent and stories to tell.
Dave Hause is known as the lead vocalist for bluesy punk act the Loved Ones, but on his long-anticipated solo debut, Resolution, Mr. Hause demonstrates a much more comfortable and rested persona. Continuing to present an articulate means of songwriting, Resolutions appears to contain a more stream-of-consciousness approach, allowing every song to contain its own story while allowing Hause to impart wisdom in a folksier way ("Pray For Tucson").
The rhythmic, breathy and melodic folk style suits Hause's vocal style effortlessly. Similar to Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem, he sings bluesy Americana folk tales through the tightness of his jaw, delivering an urgency of passion and love without ever watering his words down or stumbling on cliches. It's a vastly positive record that refrains from celebrating society's decay, instead focusing on the comfort of finding comfort in yourself - even, ironically, with others ("Melanin").
Accompanied by simple production, Resolutions sounds tight and crisp. Fans of the Loved Ones might be a bit stunned at first, but this isn't a punk record here - this is basically melodic all-American rock reminescent of Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever. "Prague (Revive Me)" is one part Calypso and another part percussion-heavy rock. The slick production values with hardly any electric juice give Hause the ability to substitue distortion for layered acoustic guitars, light drums and plenty of keys ("C'mon Kid" is the tell-all example of this). Short and sweet, no songs take too long to convey their message or tell a story ("Heavy Heart" is a splendid little lullaby; "Rankers & Rotters" is an acoustic jam with guts).
What particularly stands out, and what makes this one of the finer solo efforts of any recent punk band vocalist, is that Hause crafts every song with its own set of feelings and arrangement; each track sets itself apart by divvying up the roles of each instrument (not to mention Hause's magnetic pipes). The immense passion of the words, no matter how many times and in however many ways you've heard them, seem to carry a new weight to them when a powerful voice lays them out. Dave Hause is that kind of voice. He seems to dig up new meanings to words we've already heard from other bands, singers, whoever it may be - but he doesn't claim to be a savior... just one voice who aspires to have the bets of intentions, admitting someone else can and will always do better ("Years From Now," which features the only snippet of distorted on the album).
A genuinely honest and well-crafted effort, Resolutions proves that through the distortion, punk band's aren't are all masked by their speed or look. This is to Dave Hause as to what Bad Astronaut was to Joey Cape, what Sundowner did for Chris McCaughan. It will bring a bit of clarity to anyone who wasn't really listening to what the Loved Ones were doing, and will get people to finally "turn this record on and open up [their] ears."