House of Schock

House of Schock

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This album has "record company interference" written all over it, from the extremely mousse-happy and over-styled band photos (which are themselves a puzzlement -- according to the liner notes, House of Schock was a two-woman, two-man band...oh, who's the third guy in the photos?) to the interesting story implied in the credits: "Original production by Richard Gottehrer; additional production and mixing by Chas Sandford." Perhaps Sandford is the one who put the state-of-1988 MIDI synths and sequenced drums (lead singer Gina Schock plays drums on only four of the ten tracks, with Steven Fisher handling the others) all over this far-too-glossy album, because it sure doesn't sound like one of Gottehrer's legendary "instant records." Whoever's responsible, that slick production detracts from what's actually a pretty good little pop record. The single, "Middle of Nowhere," is an absolutely terrific driving song, with evocative lyrics and a terrific chorus that really suits Schock's Baltimore twang. While none of the other tracks are up to the single's level, they're not bad (bassist Vance DeGeneres' "The World Goes Round" is a particular standout), and this album certainly deserved a better fate than the near-total indifference it received.

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