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Last Charge of the Light Horse

Race to the Sound

Review by Gary Hill

This album was a big surprise for me. I reviewed an earlier set from this act, and it was folk music. So, that's what I was expecting. There is still a healthy helping of folk built into this, but it's really a progressive rock set, with a leaning on the folk prog end of the equation. Whatever you call this, it's great.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Where the Winter Ends
The rhythmic elements on this feel somewhat synthetic. The first vocals are built over an arrangement that's almost exclusively percussive. The music grows outward from there, though. As it does it brings some real progressive rock elements to the table. There is a modern prog sound to this in some ways, but it's merged with things closer to early King Crimson. It gets into a bit more of a blues rock style later, particularly after the female backing vocals enter.
What If
This starts with a folk rocking sound that makes me think to a large degree of Arlo Guthrie. The thing is, the arrangement also has some fusion in the mix. When it powers upward it gets into some soaring folk prog territory. This is such a cool track.
This Room

A more pure folk music mode is the concept here. The music is intricate and gentle. The vocals are the real selling point here. It gets more oomph added to the mix later, resembling more of a folk rock piece. There are some layers of sound that lend some country textures to it. Overall, though, it's not far removed from some of the more pure folk leaning examples of folk prog.

Strange Sat(i)ellite
This instrumental has a lot of jazz built into it. It's more purely folk prog, though. It's a very cool cut with some great melodies.
More
Intricate guitar sounds open this. The cut works out into more of a folk prog arrangement as it continues. The proggy things are really emphasized when it shifts to the harder rocking material later in the cut. The guitar solo section is more pure progressive rock rather than folk prog.
You’ve Lost Your Way
Weird electronic sounds open this thing. The arrangement gets some other sounds added to the mix, but remains more or less in a trippy kind of stripped back texture. It has a real modern progressive rock vibe to it. This is very much an artsy kind of thing with a moody sort of psychedelic vibe at the heart of a lot of it.
You Are My Raincloud
This has some pretty intriguing musical passages. There is some dissonance built into this. A lot of this cut makes me think of modern King Crimson to some degree. This is trippy stuff for sure. The closing bit is made up of rather strange backwards tracked stuff.
Into a Corner
Keyboard textures start this. The cut works out from there into more of an electronic based number that has some rocking sound to it. This is a fairly short instrumental.
Five Feet to the Meter
The vocals bring more of that folk kind of vibe. Musically, though, this is pretty purely progressive rock oriented in a mellower, stripped back way. There is an echoey nature to this. It has some world music in the mix, too.
Cool Night, Quiet Place
The closer comes more into the pure folk territory than anything here. That said, there are plenty of layers of prog sound in the growing, soaring sounds that grace the upper reaches of the number. This is really one of the most powerful pieces here, making it a great choice for closer.
 
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