Little Black Horse, Where Are You Going With Your Dead Rider?
Keep the dude from North Side Kings away from this band
A telling sign of an album’s quality, or lack thereof, is when it feels twice as long as it actually is. An analogy: My wife and I recently celebrated our 10-year anniversary; a number which still surprises me, because it doesn’t feel like I’ve been married 10 years. Contrast that with a nameless friend, who recently commented that he feels like he’s been hitched for at least 10 years, even though he’s barely into his second year of matrimony. And he’s right; he married a fucking bitch. As far as God’s Revolver are concerned, all signs pointed to promise before laser actually kissed plastic: awesome fold-out cover art, awesome album title, awesome song titles that screamed a mixture of the Allman Brothers, Soilent Green and any number of bands rocking the Emissions From the Monolith fest. But man,Little Black Horse’s 37 minutes easily feel twice as long.
Utah’s Exigent Records has had a pretty good track record thus far with theDecibel-recommended Gaza and Prize Country. (Let’s not forget the awesome Bird Eater, Medea and Loom. )But they fail miserably with this directionless, piss-poor Danzig exhumation and straining, evil Elvis wannabe warbling about the vastness of the wild wild west, alcohol, loneliness, alcohol, firearms, women with questionable morals, alcohol, souped-up cars that get three miles to the gallon and alcohol. Did I mention that these dudes enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage? This might explain their unfocused songwriting, where clichés aplenty are thrown into the air, rearranged and thrown again like an endless game of 52 Pickup. "Scratch Dealt Me a Dirty Hand" is easily the best tune here and as close as they get to cohesion, as the rest of the time everyone’s talent—and, yes, they are individually talented—is battling to be heard. When, that is, they’re not breaking out chintzy blues shuffles ("Cantina Poetry Blues"), bleak chain-gang acoustic strummers ("Boxes Done Buried") and in "The Holy Breath," adding the most tuneless flute since a cheese knife severed Zamfir’s bottom lip (I made that up, by the way). Should my buddy make it to his 10-year anniversary, I think I’ve just found his wife’s gift.—Kevin Stewart-Panko