1000 Albums Project

ALBUM 288

Since My House Burned Down I Now Own A Better View Of The Rising Moon, by 1997
Suggested by Rob Wagner

It may surprise you, but Since My House Burned Down I Now Own A Better View Of The Rising Moon is the longest album title in the project to date.

It’s not, however, the longest album title on the Masterlist. That honour falls to the unrandomized This May Be The Reason Why The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing Cannot Be Killed By Conventional Weapons, by The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing. I’m looking forward to that album, as it means I can likely regurgitate a chunk of this intro when it arrives.

While the title Since My House Burned Down I Now Own A Better View Of The Rising Moon takes the award for overindulgence, for the time being at least, the band name 1997 places highly in the mirror category. There’s plenty of competition here, such as Nice, Sia, 2NE1, Air, AFI, even ABBA, but 1997 have the distinction of being the only band on the list whose name is entirely numeric. Sure, +44 run them close, but that pesky plus-sign gives them away.

Of course, what I mean by all this is that I know nothing about either 1997 or Since My Hou… this album.

I often base my initial expectations of an unknown work on the track record of the suggester’s past choices. So with this, I expected mathy prog rock, maybe pop-punk, with a side dose of impenetrably clever drumming. Bizarrely, I was right. About all of it.

It transpires that 1997 were an American pop-rock band, and Since My House Burned Down I Now Own A Better View Of The Rising Moon was their debut. The title is a haiku by 17th-Century Japanese poet Mizuta Masahide, something which pleases me greatly even if I didn’t spot it initially because it wasn’t laid out as one would expect.

Indeed, there’s a feeling of the unexpected with this album from the very start, with the transfixing Water’s Edge. Here we have a grinding punk guitar that soon sweetens with, I think, a Glockenspiel, and some rather military processional drums. But it’s the vocals that truly shine, undertaken by a duelling male and female lead who both have vibrant and youthful passion and skill. I’d suggest that Kerri Leah Mack just edges it, but both put in a proper shift.

Water’s Edge, I think remains my standout track, but there are plenty more songs to love. Garden of Evil is a whimsical and forthright pop-punk offering, The Roads You Can Take channels Bob Dylan well, Lovelikepoetry veers towards emo screamo territory in places and has some excellent staccato drumming, and Droppin’ Dimes is a dreamy swirling pop number with an excellent build through the chorus. While pop-punk is the biggest hat worn on this album, there are tangible hints of more purring under the bonnet. The guitar sounds and intricacies are definitely modern prog in places, and the drums offer up a lot more than your usual McFlys or Busteds or Green Days.

I was impressed with this album. If I had to pick fault, I’d say the lyrics swerve sharply into Emo territory at the first turn, and dwell in this gravel to the end. However, having both male and female perspectives in the vocal stops the whining coming over as entitlement, so I’m fine with it.

Since My House Burned Down I Now Own A Better View Of The Rising Moon gets 8/10. I would heartily recommend it to devotees of the pop-punk parade.

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