This North Carolina-based band has a self-deprecating name and a clichéd album title that indicates suffering has occurred. So is this music going to involve a bunch of preachy whining? To the contrary, singer Josh King seems wise beyond his years as he climbs aboard the thrill-ride called life.

Echo is used to good effect at the beginning of “I Heard a Rumor,” perhaps symbolizing how libelous detritus tends to rattle around in one's head. Halfway through, the song explodes into a tornado of tortured vocals and squalling guitar, probably more musical metaphor but surely a fun chunk of sound.

“Coke & Smoke” doesn't applaud or condemn the use of cocaine and cigarettes; it just sort of tells it like it is before giving way to the similarly non-judgmental “Live & Learn.”

So, no, there's no whining here, and there are no answers either, but you could do a lot worse than living your life vicariously through House of Fools.

Grade: B