They Shoot Horses Don't They?
"Boo Hoo Hoo Boo" CD
Kill Rock Stars
Kill Rock Stars
120 State Ave NE
Olympia WA 98501
Eclectic to a fault and eternally hunting for a
good time, They Shoot Horses Don't They? is a Vancouver-based
septet (yeah, septet) that sounds something like circus music
played by a bunch of art school students. And that's kind of what it
is. In this noisy, eclectic mess you'll find scraps of indie rock,
Klezmer, jazz, and countless other genres. It sounds it belongs moreso
on 5RC than KRS. At times I'm reminded of citymates Black Mountain
and countrymates The Unicorns (RIP), though this is
considerably less accessible than those two. Some are gonna love it,
some are gonna hate it... what can I say?
Boo Hoo Hoo Boo starts off with the distinctly over-the-top "Emptyhead"
and never really lets up, aside from the odd few minutes of keyboard
pop ("Concussion"). Lively horns, with a ska-like energy but a sound
unlike anything the tired genre has produced, play an important role
in TSHDT's formula, contributing to the bazaar-like mood
inherent in the album. "Three" is a typical song - it starts with a
piano part and a wrangling guitar riff before swirling into a
climactic explosion of goofy group vocals and sweeping horns. Finale
"Apple" is probably the album's most readily accessible song; led by a
catchy horn part and a bouncy rhythm section, it closes the disc off on a
typically positive note. So this stuff is fun, for sure, though it can
be difficult to get into and hard to get a hold on. Liveliness is
indeed important, though I only wish there was a bit more melody and a
bit less absurdity involved here.
My suggestion? See these guys live, as they're
bound to sound their best in person; if you like it enough, pick this
up. Having never seen the troupe in the flesh, I don't find myself
falling in love with this disc.
MP3 (from killrockstars.com):
Fun Fact: They
Shoot Horses Don't They? takes its name from the 1969 film of the
same name, featuring Jane Fonda and following the story of a dance
marathon taking place during the Depression. The movie, directed by
Sydney Pollack, was in turn adapted from a book, written by Horace
McCoy. You got all that?
[Vitals: 11 tracks, 39:45
duration, distributed by
released Feb 21, 2006]