It is Friday. The good day. And it has been made infinitely better thanks to this morning’s Like A Version that has flung me back to the 90s so fucking hard I think I have whiplash. Because you simply cannot deny that Hands Like Houses have nailed the brief here.
Stepping into the Triple J studios, the Canberra band leaned in hard on the soft rock energy of the 90s, by covering Shimmer by Fuel.
And if that doesn’t hype you up, that’s understandable. It’s like one of those songs that you might not know the name of, but as soon as you hear it you’re like ‘oh YEAH I know this song!’ And suddenly you’re back in the back seat of your family car on a hot summer’s day with all the windows down. Chuck this on and tell me I’m wrong.
Picture it: you’ve just accidentally branded your skin with the bullshit-hot seatbelt plug, there’s sand between your toes, and you’re on the way to the fish and chip shop for some lunch after a big swim at the beach. Mum’s chucked the radio on and it’s part-way through an hour of Non-Stop Hits when this absolute belter comes on. Suddenly you don’t care that your brother had bulk time on the boogie board, or that you can feel the hot prickle of a slight sunburn developing.
I dunno about you but this song takes me right back there, to the back of Mum’s old Ford at North Mollymook beach in the thick of summer holidays.
Tbh the only thing that would have made this cover more impressive would have been for vocalist Trenton Woodley to go all-in on the 90s soft rock aesthetic of Fuel’s frontman, Brett Scallions (whose name I have just learned and deeply love).
Hands Like Houses have done a huge job on this Like A Version. It was always going to be a hard task to top the other deep-nostalgia covers they’ve done over the years, including No Doubt‘s Don’t Speak and Natalie Imbruglia‘s Torn (which is also a cover, by the way). At the rate they’re going, they may as well do an entire album of 90s hits. I’d listen to that in a heartbeat.
But for now, take a moment to sit in the sun and blast this latest Like A Version through your speakers, maybe complete the big nostalgia trip by treating yourself to a yellow lunch of fish and chips, and a Splice or a Paddle Pop for later. It’s the right thing to do.Image: YouTube / Triple J