Dark Horses / Black Music
A decisive and stylised debut from these riddle-laden rockers
(Last Gang Entertainment)
Bleak, haunting and lonely. It's not just a description of London as we enter the cold, early nights of Winter, it's also a description of Dark Horses' debut. The capital's latest offspring are 50s inspired rock'n'rollers, all leathered up and self designed to the max (their limited live appearances see them all in branded jackets and slicked back hair). They own more than a love of Venus In Furs-esque noise and Jesus and Mary Chains stoner rock outs.
The album never hits you hard, it seeps it through the cracks you don't realise are there. Deep, looping basslines and garage drum beats melt into the stark female vocals from the uber-charasmatic Swede, Lisa Elle. Even on record her ice cold presence and ruler-straight hair cut create an impression.
Recent radio fave, 'Radio', is the instantaneous, grinding, initial highlight of the album. Easily the most accessible thing on the whole record; the four and a half minutes indulges in Phil Spector-esque production and has Elle crooning “It's all over now” in a way in which makes you extactic that the apocaplypse is coming. One melancholic love song, 'Cover Me', features Tom Meighan of Kasabian, who the band recently supported in the US. If he raises the profile of this band to near his own, it might be the best thing he's ever done.
Incredibly, it took a hard listen to even notice that 'Road To Nowhere' was a cover of the classic Talking Heads track. The band turn it into a 60s b-side you wish you'd find on the back of a 7” in your collection.
It's never felt so good to be so devastatingly alone. Luckily, with Dark Horses, we're all alone together.