An Horse - Modern Air - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

An Horse - Modern Air

by Nathan Fidler Rating:4 Release Date:2019-05-03
An Horse - Modern Air
An Horse - Modern Air

It’s taken a long time for An Horse to come back around, having put out, as a guitar and drums duo, a slice of alternative indie rock. Having begun to build their careers, touring with some big names, they suddenly took a hiatus and as a result, Modern Air is only their third record.

It’s good to know that the pair still have the drive to connect and write, but across the album, things feel a little less breezy. That’s understandable given the amount of time they’ve taken to get around to this album, but there’s less playfulness to lyrics and their delivery.

‘This Is A Song’ provides enough grit and impetus to get things going, though even by the end of this track you’ll feel like it hasn’t gone particularly far due to the repetition - it almost feels like the song starts over and over again, rather than driving to a point.

This sense of repetition isn’t helped by the constant thumping of the snare across the album. Often syllables fall lazily right on top of the dull 4/4 thump of the drums, but the delivery does nothing to help get your attention. There is a sense of menace on ‘Live Well’ in the guitars, but here the chorus really drags things down.

It’s a similar story elsewhere, with the 90s streaked guitaring of ‘Get Out Somehow’ being let down by a reliance on the straightforward drumming. There has to be something more interesting that this repeated bludgeoning of the snare and floated vocals to build a song worth sticking around for.

At their more experimental end on ‘Bob Ross (Be The Water)’ things feel slightly trippier and therefore more interesting. The electronically looped drums actually seem to fit the brief but celestial message of the lyrics. It’s a short-lived flicker of interest, as tracks like ‘Drown’ kick back to basics.

This formula Kate and Damon have must come naturally, but it doesn’t serve up enough variety. It would be more interesting to hear Kate given room to let loose more with the guitar, but such a long hiatus appears to dulled the threat posed. An Horse have been left behind somewhat as we edge closer to the end of the decade.

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