Horse Party are a band that blend garage rock sensibilities DIY aesthetics and sense of humour. Hailing from Bury St Edmunds, the trio, comprised of Eleanor Lou, Seymour Quigley and Shannon Hope are proving that music doesn’t have to be convoluted or even particularly ground-breaking to still pack a punch worth taking.
The band’s debut single ‘Back to Mono’ begins with a crunchy yet muted guitar that forms the backbone of the entire track while Ellie’s vocal capabilities drip sleaze and sex in equal parts over the top. The song has a much fuller feel to it than the band’s other song ‘Clarion Call’. Whereas the former takes almost the whole song before it develops any real meat to it, ‘Back to Mono’ is surprisingly rich with texture for a band who have chosen to omit the inclusion of a bassist and the constant barrage of drum and and abrasive guitar truly is enough to justify the exclusion.
The garage rock feel that the song purports is a far cry from the solo work of drummer Shannon Hope. While her recent self-titled solo EP was a quaint acoustic affair with elements of anti-folk, Horse Party manage to go back to the basics of garage rock. Sounding like The White Stripes playing Fugazi covers with Beth Ditto fronting them is a bizarre mix, but it’s one that works for the band and rather than coming across as disjointed, it actually fuses together in a style that drips the energy of punk with soulful vocals and lofi production.
Eleanor Lou’s vocals really are the highlight of the single. The range of her abilities is excellent, as she moves from breathy verses to strong and emotive choruses that are loaded with her passion and enthusiasm. That’s not to detract away from Quigley and Hope. Quigley’s garage rock inspired guitar really drives the track forward, muted and methodical, before each chorus allows some him some freedom. Hope’s drumming is that which you’ve come to expect from garage rock. Aggresive and purposeful yet never once overbearing, it works in tandem with Quigley’s driving guitar and really asserts the raw energy of the band excellently.
What Horse Party have managed with ‘Back to Mono’ is to blend together a mixture of different aesthetics, conventions and genres in to something that is as soulful as it is raw. The DIY sensibility is something that’s obviously intrinsic the band and is exhibited throughout both singles; never, though, does it come across as under-produced to the extent that it’s unlistenable, quite the opposite in fact, the gravelly production quality aids the band in creating their own aesthetic as opposed to marring them. Definitely one for the garage rock enthusiasts, it’s raw and it’s passionate and it’s a song that shows the band have bucket loads of potential.