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They Shoot Horses Don't They?

Pick Up Sticks

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They Shoot Horses Don't They?
Pick Up Sticks
(Kill Rock Stars)
Rarely is a band—one that can be broken down into its individual influences so easily—so damn interesting-sounding and so much fun. But Vancouver’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? are the exception. Part Liars. Part Modest Mouse. Equal blasts of Morphine and John Zorn (in the confident way horns are used). Heavy bits of hand-clapping and clanging aluminum for good measure. And all with a heavy carnivalesque feel. You are a bit skeptical, right? Feeling perhaps like you have just been handed a blender full of “stuff” while being told “trust me—it’s really good.” But really, trust me—it is really good. Especially for those of you who find that a sticky mess of frantic, complex music made from seeming incongruent elements is often full of hidden surprises. Take “The Hallway,” an awkward marriage of grunts and groans, plodding organ chords and dark horn blasts. If you give up on it too soon, you will miss the chorus of shouts and wails that form the most joyous moment on the disc. The best rewards come on tracks like “One Last Final Push,” “A Speck of Dust” and “A Place Called La,” three songs that come closest to being tuneful and hit-worthy—where this cacophony of sound converges into something truly greater than the sum of its parts.
Dave Hayden
categories: Coast pick,Canadian artist

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