The House of Love’s small catalog works a small bit of magic that sounds not unlike New Order or Echo and the Bunnymen: a pleasant sound that’s always agreeable for your soft side in the dark’ woozy, cocky vocals; and shimmering guitar lines. The late UK DJ John Peel saw something with The House of Love that many listeners didn’t (hence the band’s little-heard death rattle in 1994).
In the liner notes, he writes about how “on” this band got live, and these sessions are clean, spotless proof of a tightness. We glimpse this with cheeky lyrics about “The Beatles and the Stones” making it feel good to be alone. Disc two slackens a bit, but the breezy rush of the first carries the weight. Deep beneath “Nothing to Me” is strobe-light ambiance predicting the Editors and a bass line funkier than Andy Rourke’s. “Love in a Car,” with any justice, could’ve played in “Pretty in Pink.” These Peel Sessions are documents of a time where there were many bands catering to 24-hour party people and it all sounded good to them.
– Preston Jones