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Peace Pact: The Return Of Kids In Glass Houses

Wednesday, 18 September 2013 Written by Huw Baines

Kids In Glass Houses are back, and they’re packing some pop songs. The Cardiff-based five-piece will release ‘Peace’, their fourth full-length, on September 30 and it’s something of a return to pastures old.

Their last record, ‘In Gold Blood’, found the band dipping toes into the heavier end of the guitar spectrum following a couple of albums packed with hooks and breezy pop-rock tunes. According to frontman Aled Phillips, once that experimentation was out of their system the old way began calling to them again.

“After we’d done ‘In Gold Blood’, which was quite dark and brooding, more focused on being a rock album and not as instant and melodic as the stuff we’d done before, we had a hankering for songs like the ones we always used to write,” he said.

“I think we used up all our resources after the first two albums. We felt like we were being a bit cheap by just knocking out more stuff that we didn’t think was pushing ourselves. That’s why we veered off and why it was so much fun to go back and take what we’d learned from taking a diversion and put that into what we knew before.”

The writing process allowed the band to spend time ensuring that ‘Peace’ emerged as the album they always intended it to be, particularly thanks to guitarist Iain Mahanty’s new-found recording skills and a slow-build approach to the songs themselves.

“Over the last 18 months-two years, Iain has become quite handy at recording,” Phillips said. “That really was invaluable as a writing tool. We’ve never been able to write in that manner before. We had about nine months to write the album, which is about eight months more than we usually have. It was actually a lot of fun. As soon as we got into the writing, after having not done it for so long, it came really easily.”

The album was recorded in Lincolnshire with Dan Weller, who has previously overseen collections from Gallows, Enter Shikari and Young Guns, and the process represented another departure from ‘In Gold Blood’, a record that relied heavily on the band capturing their live sound.

“It was actually the polar opposite, recording wise,” Phillips said. “The last record, all the boys were in the room at the same time, just jamming. We’d do four live takes or something, all playing together, and then a lot of the time they’d be overdubbed and the vocals would come later. It was a really organic thing.

“On this one it’s very pop oriented so we wanted the sound to reflect that. Everything was done in isolation, and we did things backwards as well. Sometimes the vocals would go on before the guitars, which is something we’ve never had, but it gave the boys another dimension to their playing because they weren’t always working from drums, bass, guitar in that order.”

A few days prior to the album’s release, Kids In Glass Houses will hit the road for a long run of UK and Ireland dates, including a hometown show at Cardiff University and a London gig at the Electric Ballroom. The band are set to inject their set with a few new songs, with the record tailored towards being played live. A quick listen to the title track’s chorus confirms suspicions that it’ll up the singalong quota quite considerably.

“Our tour starts about five days before the album comes out so we’re over the barrel a bit,” Phillips said. “We don’t want to force feed people stuff they don’t know but equally we understand that people have been coming to see us for two years without having heard anything new. At the moment it’s looking like about five new songs, maybe rotating a couple of them. One of the motivations for writing it was was writing songs that we knew would translate well live and that we’d enjoy playing live.”

Kids In Glass Houses UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Wed September 25th 2013 - LIVERPOOL O2 Academy Liverpool
Thu September 26th 2013 - NORWICH Waterfront
Fri September 27th 2013 - LINCOLN Lincoln The Engine Shed
Sat September 28th 2013 - BIRMINGHAM Asylum Bar and Venue
Sun September 29th 2013 - BIRMINGHAM The Asylum Venue Birmingham
Tue October 1st 2013 - BRIGHTON Brighton Concorde 2
Wed October 2nd 2013 - LONDON Electric Ballroom
Thu October 3rd 2013 - CARDIFF Great Hall
Fri October 4th 2013 - MANCHESTER Manchester Academy 2
Sat October 5th 2013 - GLASGOW Garage
Sun October 6th 2013 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Warehouse
Tue October 8th 2013 - PORTSMOUTH Wedgewood Rooms
Wed October 9th 2013 - NOTTINGHAM Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Thu October 10th 2013 - OXFORD O2 Academy Oxford
Sat October 12th 2013 - DUBLIN Academy 2
Sun October 13th 2013 - CORK Cypress Avenue

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