Better Homes Wear Their Heart On Their Sleeve With ‘Cardiosonus’
Better Homes is back with their sophomore EP, which the band completely self-recorded and self-produced. Despite the stigma that occasionally comes with those terms, Cardiosonus presents itself as a well thought out and cohesive experience. Told in these four songs is the story of vocalist Hayls’s breakup with her boyfriend of five years. The title, which roughly translates to “heart sounds,” and artwork depicting a heart-shaped constellation only serve to enhance the record’s message.
The standout feature of Better Homes is the vocals, with Cardiosonus being their best example yet. Whether singing over grinding guitars, a downtempo bridge, or quiet acoustic accompaniment, Hayls’s strong delivery immediately grabs the listener’s attention. Always clear and steady, there is an added sense of urgency from the emotional vulnerability of being open about a breakup. The content of these words dives into moments of weakness, but it is clear that we are now listening to someone who is resilient and confident on this EP.
Lyrically, each track revolves around the same relationship and breakup with each song examining a different aspect. For the most part they are presented in a straightforward manner, allowing listeners to easily understand the situation. This, in turn, gives the ability for different people to create connections to their own lives. In the end, this is sure to lead to a deeper attachment. Though words are not minced, there are still poetic liberties to be taken. “Without Your Bones” brings the comparison, “You told me I was like a messy stove / hard to clean up so you leave it alone,” while the running metaphor in “One Last Pack” likens a controlling relationship to that of a smoker and the ashes their cigarettes produce. The latter is especially powerful, bringing in the idea of being used for pleasure, unhealthy, and seen as something lesser.
The sound of Caridosonus is one that would not feel out of place to those on either side of the pop-punk spectrum. Pounding drums and driving guitar swell and fade at just the right times to enhance the natural reactions that these songs illicit. There is a surprising amount of variety packed into this EP, which means there is something for everyone – from guitar solos to gang vocals to an emotionally hard-hitting acoustic ballad. At just sixteen minutes and with the pull of catchy pop tunes, this new Better Homes EP deserves a listen or two.