Read Kev’s review here
Close your eyes, picture the scene.
It’s 1982, Marty and Doc have just travelled…
…3 years from 1985 with the Flux capacitor. Coincidentally they bump into Steven Lisberger who wants to take a spin to the beginning of 1984 to pick up his royalty check and then head back…
…50 years to talk to Robert Bradbury about a soundtrack collaboration.
Now, open your eyes, it’s 2012, let’s replace Lisberger and Bradbury with two Cork men, Ross Gillanders and Daniel Valle, collectively known as Horsemen Pass By.
Previously working under the name Beastmen B-Side Sessions, the newly named alliance like to spend their time sound-tracking the films of yesteryear. This Friday (May 25th) will see them release their Giallo EP.
Opening track ‘Midnight Chase in Genova’ showcases some delightful arpeggiated synth lines interlaced with spaghetti western style guitars. A synth patch that somewhat resembles a wind chime rolls in and out without causing too much of a stir. It’s at this point I realise what the problem is, I need visuals.
From here on in I decide to pull up Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973), My Darling Clementine (1946) and Zardoz (for good measure of course, 1974) to get inside the brains of this duo. Now we’re talking! ‘The Lies of Christian Shaw’ shows they have a great knack for creative rhythm, opening with a drone-like stance, unfolding into an apocalyptic crescendo. ‘Lanark’ delves into David Holmes territory (in a good way) with textured piano layers, hesitant synth lines and electronica beats. Donal Dineen fans rejoice!!
The EP wraps up with the most upbeat of the four tracks ‘Letters From a Stranger’. Opening with a two octave bass recrudescence, this is the closest Valle and Gillanders get to contemporary synth acts like College, Com Truise, etc.. Again you are reminded that this stuff needs visuals for the full effect. Once my early experiment concluded I attempted to listen to the EP one more time without the visuals. Once the helicopter synth arrived at 2:40 on the closing track I was happy to be the first passenger – instead I opted for one more ride accompanied by Paint Your Wagon (1969) for visual effect.
As soundtrack composers, Horsemen Pass By can do no wrong. It’s creative, it’s never too much and more importantly, they know when to wrap it up. As a whole the EP isn’t mind blowing but it does give you an indication that Gillanders and Valle have a few more tricks up their sleeve. If it’s hooks you’re after, stick with the Drive soundtrack.