13 May, 2014 in Music Reviews
On debut ‘Cover Your Eyes’, Horse Party make a case for being one of the most exciting new bands around
ormed after a night spent drinking in a church, Bury St Edmunds outfit Horse Party bring the same spirit of displacement to the blues as Jack White’s The Dead Weather project. Allying the reckless clatter of Fugazi’s post-hardcore and the rancid-cherry sweetness of Garbage to The Dead Weather’s indolence, they’re like a Rolling Stones LP spun on a buzz saw.
Back To Mono has the chugging riff of an incessantly flicked lighter. Held at arm’s length from your cigarette, it builds the adrenaline levels to a squeal before the flame escapes. By this point though you’re lost, forgetting what it was you were waiting for and caught in Horse Party’s unrepentant groove.
February single Clarion Call slinks seamlessly from this groove, with the feel of the filthy sister to Sugarbabes’ cocktail-glossed Round Round. With the song’s latter third pierced by a riff straight from the genius of MacKaye and Picciotto, it’s a highlight that has the cheekbones swaying with gleeful abandon.
Scarlet & Blue then lets the sweat and spittle settle. Smouldering like a less seditious version of PJ Harvey’s Rub Till It Bleeds, it even comes with a dreamy interlude and shows that sultry chords are not the only weapon in Horse Play’s armoury. It’s here, as well follow-up track Inbetween, that the hype sheet’s “Fleetwood Mac covering dEUS” comparison holds true.
What Do You Need then rips Kyuss through the prism of Soundgarden’s Superunknown, Ellie Langley’s vocals possessed of the same thrilling tension of PJ Harvey, while Six takes the music back to Harvey’s blues-grunge.
Let The Man Die comes across like a lo-fi version of Garbage’s Only Happy When It Rains, with Ellie Langley sounding eerily like Shirley Manson. It also sees Seymour Quigley add a vocal melody reminiscent of the criminally under heard indie-rock group Miss Black America. Another highlight, it’s a track that could see indie-rock bodies crashing against each other in clubs across the land. To Know You Less then closes proceedings on an unexpectedly sweet note.
With a record so composed it’s difficult to pinpoint shortcomings. Cover Your Eyes is a remarkably assured debut that wears its influences, with the ease of a band that knows they borrow to inspire. It does feel though that Quigley’s longing vocals could be used more and the perhaps the dual vocal harmony is a weapon that they will sharpen to stab at future releases.
Cover Your Eyes is a spiky and sensual rendition of blues-rock that has the energy of post-hardcore. Put simply, it’s compulsive listening.
Verdict: Compulsive blues-rock