Sunday, 16 March 2014

HORSE PARTY - ALBUM REVIEW

Horse Party - Cover Your Eyes (Integrity Records) 
Horse Party - Cover Your Eyes

Release Date: 7th April 2014

Here's something you don't say every day - Bury St Edmunds has spawned a geeky, soulful, indie-rock behemoth and they are Horse Party. The girl-boy-girl threesome (sounds wrong but I can't be bothered to hit delete) are visceral and so alive that you just have to sit up and pay attention. The best place to start is at the beginning and, in this case, that's 'Back To Mono' which is a stomping, champing beast of a song with Ellie Langley's rich, soulful vocals slathered generously over the top. 'Clarion Call' continues the same theme but with a more muted approach and the easy comparison to make is The Gossip but there is something else here, a more earthy quality that is almost bluesier than anything Beth Ditto and company have to offer. Taking things down another tempo level finds us at 'Scarlet & Blue' which is so low slung it has elements of Nirvana, Belly or Veruca Salt about which makes me very, very happy. But obviously sad as well cos those bands don't really make chirpy music.

Despite some furious percussive work from Shannon Hope, 'Inbetween' is still a slightly more subdued affair that reminds me of the likes of Sebadoh or Folk Implosion in its awkward, lo-fi glory. There is a wild-west swagger to 'What Do You Need' (a question mark would be a good start) that belongs to a band with more gigs under its belt but these upstarts are in a hurry and they aren't going to wait to make you listen. 'Six' chugs quietly in to life and you wait patiently for it burst in to life like a Brother & Bones tune which it does with wailing blues guitars and a sense of menace that you are drawn to like a scared teenage girl is drawn to a strange noise in the cellar of 90s horror film. Perversely, 'Let The Man Die' is  the most positive sounding track on the album with Seymour Quigley (great name, well done Mr & Mrs Quigley) taking vocal duties to sing a dark ditty with overtones of the Lemonheads or the Beach Boys after one of Brian's bad days.

Track eight is the final track and it leaves you wanting more and more as 'To Know You Less' hints at a sweeter, more mellow side to this talented trio that adds yet another layer to their intriguing onion. Horse Party are a supremely exciting prospect not just because they are so obviously talented and exciting but also due to the fact that they are one of the most exportable bands we've had in a while. The American and Asian alternative markets will lap these guys up but in the meantime let's just enjoy them for what they are - a group of mates from a small British town who write tunes as a way of escaping. It's a classic tale but it never, ever gets old.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/horsepartyparty?fref=ts

Live Dates:

21st March - Blossom Records, Norwich w/Bald Wife
3rd April - Portland Arms, Cambridge
11th April - The John Peel Centre, Stowmarket w/Dingus Khan
12th April - The Bull, Colchester
19th April - Brixton Windmill, London
7th June - Strawberry Fair, Cambridge
5th July - WoW Music Festival, Diss

23rd August - Homegrown Music Festival, Bury St Edmunds

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