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Last Charge of the Light Horse

Nine Kinds of Happy

Review by Gary Hill

There is quite a bit of roots music built into this. It’s closer to folk music than just about anything else – at least consistently. A lot of this makes me think of Arlo Guthrie at times. That’s a good thing, too. The thing is, it also borders on stuff like Radiohead and Porcupine Tree here are there. I really like this set, and the diversity really works for it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
This Is Where

On the one hand, this is sort of a standard alternative rock meets folk rock song. The thing is, it’s so much more than that. The world music elements and extra layers of sound bring a drama and majesty here that’s amazing. The vocals for some reason make me think a little bit of a lower register version of Arlo Guthrie. That’s a great thing as far as I’m concerned. So is this song. It’s one of the best things I’ve heard in a while. I love it.

Anyone Else
The same folk sound permeates this. It’s dark and dreamy. It’s a bit depressing. It’s very mellow. It’s not as powerful as the opener, but it’s still pretty good. I love the instrumental section that almost pulls this toward mellow progressive rock in some ways.
Slow as You Can
This really makes me think a lot of things like Radiohead and Porcupine Tree. It’s another dreamy and slow cut. It’s probably somewhere in the middle of the first song and the second one. It’s also quite strong.
All of My Days
I can make out that Arlo Guthrie thing on this song, too. It’s got a lot more folk in it than some of the other music does. It’s also one of the most compelling pieces here. It’s not as strong as the opener, but it’s close. It’s got a great positive lyrical message, too.
Spoken
With more of a rocking sound, this even has some hints of country music in the mix. It’s got some of that Radiohead thing going on, too. The dreamy, soaring sections are great, too. It’s not my favorite song on the disc, but it’s a standout.
Glaciers
This is more energized, but still dreamy in a lot of ways. It’s closer to the pure alternative rock end of the spectrum. It’s good, but not a standout.
The Less Said, The Better
The guitar on this is intricate. It’s the mellowest song here, though. It’s a moody ballad type piece.
So Happy
Some of the guitar over the top of the later sections on this makes me think of Robert Fripp. The cut is much more of a prog rock meets alternative thing. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the set, bringing variety and drama. It wanders into definite space music at the end.
 
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