Posted on: July 9, 2007 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

They Shoot Horses Don’t They – Pick Up Sticks / 2007 Kill Rock Stars / 10 Tracks / /

They Shoot Horses Don’t They is a fucked up band. “One Last Final Push” mixes together so many different styles that it is really like a schizophrenic trying to go and craft a song. Ultimately, “One Last Final Push” is a track is primarily influenced by the swing-dancing style along with a rock sound. “The Guest” has the same sort of dissonant horns and strong vocal present. The one thing that I could link They Shoot Horses Don’t They to would have to be one of those fun houses that are present at any county fair. In these fun houses, for individuals that might not know what I’m talking about, there are slanted floors, weird bungee cord contraptions, and the like.

With a band that is 9 deep, it makes sense that the overall sound would be schizophrenic and darting off in other directions. Luckily, the band is solid enough that the songs on “Pick Up Sticks” largely work. “The Guest” is three minutes of this dissonant harmony, and individuals will be able to get behind it like they could get behind a song provided by a terse three-piece band. “A Place Called La” has even more of a carnival sound to it, where They Shoot Horses Don’t They blend their style with a little bit of punk and even some Beach Boys in the creation of their own very interesting sound. It is during “A Place Called La where the band really starts to make a play for rotation on radio.

The heavenly sound of the pre-chorus part of “A Place Called La’ will remind listeners of The Polyphonic Spree, while the rest of the track is close to the overall sound of fellow eclectic band Madness. By the time that “A Place Called La” ends, the allure of the and will be too irresistible for individuals to counter. Couple that with the flipmode style that they have during “Speck of Dust”, and the band should have incorporated any stragglers. The sound of “Speck of Dust” is darker and slower than any prior track on “Pick Up Sticks”. This different sound still is linked to the album’s style through the inclusion of the shambling, shuffling style of the instruments, but there is an emotional context to the track that is not present on any other song on the disc. For a spectacle that is fundamentally different from anything else that is out, give They Shoot Horses Don’t They a listen. You will not be disappointed.

Top Tracks: Speck of Dust, Busted Bell

Rating: 7.5/10

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