Saturday, 20 August 2011

Two Trick Horse "S/T" Review

Two Trick Horse

They may purport to only have two tricks, but the duo of Stephen Livesey and Sam Coyle offer us three tracks on this demo. That one of those is an instrumental means that we don’t get too much lyrical insight, a shame given that they cite David Peace’s novels as an influence. Opening track “Kensington Gore” charges out of the blocks, repeating the line “This is a dream”, which given that Peace’s novels frequently blur the lines between reality and dreamlike sequences (Well they’re usually nightmarish!) seems appropriate. They then slow things down, introducing a slightly Sabbath-y air of menace (Think “Electric Funeral”) to the proceedings, which works well.

Instrumental track “Horsepower” reminds me of Therapy?, particularly their pre-“Troublegum” work. Placing it bang in the middle of the running order does seem curious though, as it does rob the release of what little momentum had been built up. Closing track “Assassination Summer”, as with all the songs, was recorded in December of 2010, yet its title, which is repeated frequently, and the opening lines, can’t help but bring to mind the recent shootings in Norway. Musically it is upbeat hardcore, along the lines of sadly short lived Dutch band Razor Crusade (Must dig out “Infinite Water” for a listen), although Livesey’s vocals lack the level of intensity that would befit such subject matter.

As a demo there’s definite promise, the production sound is not overly polished, coming across more like a rehearsal tape (I swear the sound at the start of the CD is a tape recorder button being pressed), which if I’m honest suits the stripped down material.

Andrew Whittaker

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