Under Review

 They Shoot Horses, Don’t  They?

Boo Hoo Hoo Boo (Kill Rock Stars)

Review By Julie Colero


I can’t help but think that I’d be having way more fun right now if, instead of parked in front of the computer on a Friday night, I was out at a They Shoot Horses gig. I’m synced in real time, I think, with the band’s last Vancouver show before a six-week tour, and am pretty sure I picked the wrong spot to be. And so…

I’m going to close my eyes for a moment and put myself on that stage, in amongst the thousand gleaming horns that toot so gloriously throughout every song this collective crafts. What’s all that clapping? Where’s all the sweat coming from? An eternally ecstatic sound lures me into placid reveries, soon disturbed by the realization that the songs are all actually quite dark—way to harsh the glow! Thankfully, one of Chris’s peppy keyboard lines pops up and saves me from utter despair.

But there’s no “I” in “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”, now is there? Let us move instead towards a place where everyone is afforded the chance to hear what the hype is about, here beautifully captured on disc in a way that lets the listener get much closer to singer Josh Neelands‘ lyrics than is possible in the live-show din. The band’s debut starts and ends strong, and keeps marching in sort-of-tune the whole way through.