Reminiscent of the whiney voiced rock that came out down Southern California way in the mid to late 90s, with the addition of balls and a lack of Aled Jones inspired vocals, Houston Has A Problem are the afterhours drinks at the pop punk party that was (even if they did miss the wagon by a decade and a half). But forgive them for that; most of HHAP would have been busy with Lego back then, for a band inspired by something they never witnessed firsthand vocalist Sam, guitarist/backing vocals Aggie, bassist Conor, guitarist Jack, and drummer James are bringing things back pretty well. To be honest I’m being unfair, this band are simply doing what we all wish we were; having fun playing the music they grew up listening to, and with a sound akin to NOFX, Rancid, and Allister they’re doing just that.
Houston Has A Problem write songs about growing up, girls, cars, skating, BMXing, and escaping; stuff many of us can relate to. They are proud to say that all of their songs are understandable, all in black and white, something a lot of bands can’t say. Their song New Moves Broken Shoes is all about living your own life and proving that you’re worth something. Track 4 is a salute to lost love. Most of their songs are upbeat with a few more grown up ones in between.
HHAP claim; “we play the same to 5 people as we would 500 people”, and they do, I’ve witnessed it. So far I’ve seen this band play twice, once at Via with Doctor Fonda, and again at The Gildridge with The Junk and Vice Like Grip. They played the same both times; loose, energetic, and raw. At The Gildridge, the more crowded of the two gigs, they interacted with an audience full of strangers as though they knew each and every one of them, ignored Simon Pegg looking naysayers and played as though it was the perfect gig. It wasn’t, but that didn’t matter. Away from my eyes they’ve played at The Hobgoblin, The Crypt, The Latest Music Bar, The Tubman, and Cardiff’s Buffalo Bar with bands like Centralia DC, Nothing New, Behind Closed Doors, Stage Fright, Lions Are Smarter Than I Am, and with American bands Brookside, and Another Option.
Houston Has A Problem have released two EPs; Bad Timing in 2009, and Hey What’s Hhap’ning in 2010, along with the single Ska Wars in the same year. They are planning to go into the studio in the near future.
Looking to carry on doing what they’ve already been doing but on a bigger scale HHAP are currently looking to do their own tour along the south coast, and seeing as they describe themselves as being “music to woo mothers to” it might be time to keep mum on a leash.
Originally published here: http://www.bn1magazine.co.uk/music/reviews/293-houston-has-a-problem