Somerset’s Deaf Horse make all the right moves in their bio as they promise post-grunge with influences including Six.By Seven, Pleasingly, this intriguing prospect is backed up by a tidy bunch of no holds barred tunes which go straight for the jugular.
‘Dead’ opens in howls of feedback and deadpan narration, then an onslaught of howled guitars and angsty vocals are held together by some wonderfully forceful drumming, which encircles the band in a vice-like grip. The appropriately named ‘Pierce The Skies’ is another intense affair but the rhythms here resemble a threatening rumble; making it the closest point they get to the aforementioned Six.By Seven. Thereafter the pace slackens a little but the bluesy ‘Fire’ is not unlike Red Hot Chili Peppers whereas the comparatively simplistic but equally compelling ‘Modern Warfare’ and ‘Figure It Out’ offer raw and angry statements of intent. Meanwhile, ‘Terry Thompson’ depicts the story of the Ohio man who set free his collection of caged exotic animals before shooting himself. It’s testament to the band that the song is just as chilling without taking the subject matter into consideration and it is certainly a more convincing song then the underwhelming “slowie” finale, ‘India Joy’, which may or may not be an ode to the American teen actress of the same name.
Deaf Horse could receive some flak from cynics for sounding too American in terms of style, subject matter and vocals. However, the band perform here like a visceral ball of energy and they create a concise and thrilling racket on their own terms, proving that the Bristol scene isn’t just about trip-hop nowadays.
Six.By Seven, Blag’ard, Queens Of The Stone Age