Horsey - Debonair Music Album Reviews

Horsey - Debonair Music Album Reviews
Grating yet perversely gratifying, this King Krule-adjacent South London band’s debut also contains music of inarguable force or surprising beauty.

King Krule’s Archy Marshall prefers to keep it in the family, breaking away from the conclave of musicians who play on his curated, hermetic records only for occasional genre-crossing collaborations with friends like Mount Kimbie, Trash Talk, and Ratking. So why is Marshall’s first new song since 2020’s Man Alive tacked onto the end of the debut album by an unknown South London band called Horsey? It snaps into place in the credits: Horsey features singer-songwriter and keyboardist Theo McCabe, King Krule drummer George Bass, guitarist Jacob Read (who was once immortalized in a King Krule song), and bassist Jack Marshall (who is Archy’s older brother). It’s the first gleaming of what an Extended Kruleverse might sound like, and that’s the only context in which it makes a lick of sense.

Debonair is an exasperating, exhilarating record that suggests—but here the comparisons threaten to spiral out with hypnotic absurdity. You might think of Benny Goodman’s band being cryogenically frozen at the end of the swing era and reanimated during the 15-minute reign of Art Brut, but to simplify, imagine the Fall if Mark E. Smith could sing. I hated this album the first time I heard it, and the second, and the third. By the seventh, it had settled into my gray matter like a glittery, pukey miasma, and I had to admit that while I didn’t always like it, I kind of loved it.

In truth, it was mainly the first single and opener, “Sippy Cup,” that stuck in my craw: Though it’s played with striking dexterity and clarity, the theatrical surf-jazz brings back not entirely fond memories of hyperactive, anything-goes aughties bands with names like Architecture in Helsinki. It also introduces the protean McCabe at his most overbearing, modulating from something akin to Frank Black doing a Louis Armstrong impression into a hail-fellow-well-met showtunes persona. But he does it all with impeccable smoothness and a weird force-of-personality lucidity that’s irritating and unforgettable.

“Sippy Cup” is a lot, and more challenging moments soon follow, like “Arms and Legs,” which welds blues vamps that resemble Modest Mouse at their shoutiest to bouncy little organ choruses redolent of 1970s Beach Boys. One of these choruses goes, “Take me away/Take me to a salad bar/Feed me to an elephant mask/Lock me in a cable car,” and here we can no longer put off addressing McCabe’s lyrics. His surrealism resonates in a genuinely personal key, though it might be compared to that of Tom Waits in the ’80s. It goes awry only in one strange, stray use of the word “bitch” on “1070,” an unappealing Scott Walker-like turn late in the album that seems to say, We haven’t had any classical piano yet, so why not?

Horsey could’ve made a whole album in this ponderous vein, or that of the demented funhouse tune “Clown” (which is like the Frogs doing Screamin’ Jay Hawkins); thankfully they didn’t. Grating yet perversely gratifying, Debonair also contains music of inarguable force or surprising beauty. Its best songs operate on the same moody, underwater wavelength as King Krule’s contribution: The first intimation that McCabe can really sing comes on “Underground,” where he works a sweet, sincere melody from the merest rumble to a Four Seasons falsetto with superb control. The two-part “Wharf” is similar, packed with little tempo and genre changes that exemplify one of the best things about Horsey: If you don’t like one part, another will be along presently.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is “Everyone’s Tongue,” a memoir of a shark attack that harks back to Les Savy Fav at peak ferocity. On another plane entirely is “Lagoon,” a yacht-rock delight with an irresistibly lusty vocal performance that’s only occasionally interrupted by hellish screams and train-wreck transitions. It’s a dollop of glorious schmaltz on top of Debonair, a noise-rock opera that should be buried in a time capsule to troll the future, and also to get it away from me, because I can’t stop listening to it.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Horsey - Debonair Music Album Reviews Horsey - Debonair Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on August 10, 2021 Rating: 5


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