Listening again to the House of Love's eponymous debut album took me right back to the late 80's when the UK music scene was going through a major transition. It was the height of "indie-dom", when small independent labels like Creation (who released the original version of this album) dominated new music, set the agenda, and made the major labels totally redundant. The Smiths had fallen apart, the baggy sound of Madchester was in fashion, and the dawn of Britpop was just around the corner. As a live act, on a good night, The House of Love could create a storm, especially when playing small venues like the Phil Kaufman Club. They brought together a contemporary blend of jangly 60's pop, echoey guitars, tight song-writing and hooks aplenty. There were elements of shoe-gazing, but with stronger and more defined song structures. Probably not the best of vocalists, Guy Chadwick nevertheless has a distinctive style, and was a fairly moody frontman with presence. Terry Bickers is something of an over-looked guitar talent. The album itself is possibly a little over-produced, but singles like Shine On and Christine are classics of the era. The additional material included with this re-issue is a mixed bag but a useful document of the time. Subsequent House of Love albums (released via major labels) were interesting but patchy, and the band never really followed up on their early promise.