Thursday, June 24, 2010

Record Review: Horse Feathers - Thistled Spring

For Tiny Mix Tapes:

Horse Feathers
Thistled Spring

Kill Rock Stars

Horses don’t have feathers. Duh. The name is a deliberate contradiction, much like a string quartet that plays rock music. But unlike the characters in the Marx Brothers movie that shares its name, the band called Horse Feathers doesn’t fumble around; their performance isn’t a comedy of errors.

Unfortunately, it’s the very fact that every action is so studied — that it’s so beautifully orchestrated and meticulously performed — that robs Thistled Spring, the third full-length from the Portland, Oregon four-piece (their second for Kill Rock Stars), of its hook. No smash-and-grab antics or dramatic football finales for Justin Ringle’s Horse Feathers. It’s stark and gorgeous, yes, a mashup of romantic string arrangements and melodic keys and emotive guitar and gloomy vocals. But entire swathes of the album run together; though it’s very pleasantly atmospheric, each song has trouble standing out from the blended timbre of the record as a whole...[Read more]

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