Horse Thief - Trials And Truths (Bella Union)

Horse Thief – Trials And Truths (Bella Union)

It’s not always the case that sharing management indicates any common ground between bands but it is here. Coming out of the same stable as The Flaming Lips, Horse Thief either share the same, carefree, infectious joie de vivre as Wayne Coyne and co. or share the same, mildly irritating…infectious joie de vivre. Either way, with its shonky rhythms and quirks, Trials And Truths clonks along merrily and positively screams summer festival at you. Coming to a Variety Bazaar near you soon.

Following the acclaimed debut Fear In Bliss, this second outing catches a band musing on the things most of us do – love, relationships, that carry on. So far so conventional. Lyrically, nothing is going to shock, Perhaps the music will? Unfortunately, well, not really. It’s all very nice – dreaded word – but, though things gambol along vivaciously, it’s hard to pull out the new. Not that everything needs to (or can) reinvent the wheel, of course, but, while there are glimpses of a darker and more interesting underbelly – notably the brooding and almost grimly contemplative ‘Falling For You‘ – the vast majority hops along with spritely, sunshine guitars and bucolic vibes.

Such slices of Americana always have a role but, in a way, the album seems out of time. Harking to a shoeless and carefree time on the road when, in reality, the shit’s hitting the fan, from DC to beyond. Not the band’s fault of course and a little escapism never goes amiss but quirky jollies without too many barbs isn’t really of the moment.

All that said, if you’re in the market for smiling, happy, artful guitars and offbeat melodies, you’d be hard-pressed to find better at the moment. A song like ‘Evil’s Rising‘, despite the title, drives along breezily. College radio fodder it may be but it’s accomplished, no doubt about that.

Horse Thief occupy the ground formerly occupied by REM and the like. Perhaps not yet willing to explore more moody areas but they’re a young band so why should they? There’s a market for this positivity, maybe even more so in these times of gloom, despite what your curmudgeon may say. Summer afternoon in late June and tracks like ‘Another Youth‘ will probably make total sense. For now, it all seems a little out of time and sidestepping the zeitgeist.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.