Stephen tuned into Horsemen Pass By the other day, now let’s hear Kevin’s take
Stephen’s review here
The Cork music scene, from Plugd Records, to Stump and Bloodbox has always reminded me of a separatist movement, eager, and restless to show the rest of the country that the well trodden path does not apply here. This foreign two-some, encompassing a Spaniard and a Scot, and with their outfit Horsemen Pass By are eager young recruits to this Cork Music Front.
This debut slab, Giallo, is a four track blend of electronica and reverb drenched guitars, inspired by movie soundtracks from a variety of genres. Opener ‘Mindight Chase in Genova’ is a solid and quick paced track, combining a sense of urgency and tension in the listener, and is probably the stand out tune. It sounds like the boys had watched a dozen or so movies in quick succession and whipped out the synths and guitars and got to work. The creepy electronic loop bounds along with a sharp, effect laden riff, giving way to ‘El Mariachi’ style guitar play at the finale.
We are then transported, with a stark opening, to what sounds like a wintery, solemn and paranoid scene by second track ‘The Lies of Christian Shaw’. Referring to the accusations of witchcraft by an 11 year girl in Covenanter era Scotland, the music makes a good fist of capturing the feverish, maddening fervour of those times in Alba with quasi religious choral effects and a continuation of uncomfortable synth effects.
The penultimate track, ‘Lanark’, a nod perhaps to the provenance of one half of HPB, is a somewhat more conventional soundtrack tune with piano leading a synthetic string section. A pensive, confident track, it is highly reminiscent of Norwegian band Ulver’s experimentation with this kind of thing, and would not be out of place on their ‘Svidd Neger’ release. The execution of this track, like the rest of the EP, is hard to fault, and one is made to feel one has fallen asleep with the telly on during the late night movie.
Bringing up the rear is ‘Letters from a Stranger’, a fast paced electronic blast, and like many things from the last five years, is a digitalized and facelifted 80′s relic, given new clothes by the production and the merest hint of a nod to David Eugene Edwards with the belated arrival of the guitars in the exit sequence.
An interesting and unclichéd release then, well composed and expertly delivered soundtrack music to films which, well, we are not privy to, but that is unimportant. The playing speaks for itself, and I can imagine a lot of potential and room for maneouver with a live performance. Cool and unpretentious, despite the art house movie homage, a recommended piece of work.