THE HOUSE OF LOVE – “Butterfly” (Fontana 842 293-2) July 1990

The second House Of Love album was released around the period of the Italian World Cup during the summer of 1990. I was completely ignorant of any House Of Love releases during this period. I had stopped listening to contemporary music and no longer bought any music press.

I highly rate their debut album on the Creation label. The songs on this 1988 epic are memorable and instantaneous. The subtle production is a delight and the music pours over me like opulent daydreams.

“The Butterfly Album” or as sometimes known “The Fontana Album” is a huge disappointment. The biggest let down is the horrible drum sound throughout. They’re mixed way too loud, and sound over-processed, lifeless and clinical. Have a listen to the track “In A Room” for an example of what I’m banging on about. The drum sound is gated and the tedious backbeat is dull and monotonous.

I really have a huge problem with music if the drums sound all wrong to my particular taste. Modern day compressed and echoed drum production is the reason why I submerged myself in primitive ’60s garage punk records for decades.

The House Of Love, as a band, were going through huge personal problems, certain band-members were living a hedonist lifestyle, the lead guitarist became bored and withdrawn. It’s obvious that the song material just wasn’t strong enough.

Two singles taken from the album, “Never” and “I Don’t Know Why I Love You” were flops. A re-recording of their indie hit “Shine” was then released, which was a small hit. This version of “Shine” is over-produced and inferior.

I recently posted a vintage NME interview with band leader Guy Chadwick. This February 1990 article gives details, his hopes and aspirations for the year ahead.

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