Horse Feathers
Words Are Dead


4.0
excellent

Review

by tombits USER (16 Reviews)
January 27th, 2009 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hot summer nights and nostalgic childhood memories.

“Horse feathers” is certainly an interesting moniker for Oregon’s Justin Ringle and Peter Broderick. Coined circa 1970, the term was used to denounce something as unbelievable nonsense, or in other words, utter bull***. This is somewhat strange, as the first thing you notice when playing Words Are Dead for the first time is the heart-wrenching honesty the record possesses. Bearing the same relaxed feel as its folk contemporaries (see: Bon Iver, Iron & Wine, etc.), this gorgeous debut is a truly overlooked album full of Americana-laced gold.

The band was originally founded as a singer-songwriter project, and it shows with each song distinctly driven by Ringle’s truthful lyrics, soft voice and warm guitar chords. Broderick contributes just as significantly, lending his skillful violin lines and other talents to compliment Ringle perfectly. Opener “Hardwood Pews” showcases the best of both; beginning subdued and sparse with just a simple sung melody, it continues to grow into a wonderfully composed ending. An uplifting fiddle soars above a soulful musical saw and piano to create one of the most beautiful and emotional moments on the record. The pleasant “Finch on Saturday” introduces a much more lighthearted approach that once again showcases a lovely reoccurring violin line and a bright vocal melody. The lyrics concern Ringle’s faith, in which he croons:

Boys, they've got wicked things on their minds.
Before the father said you're toein' the line.
Like a finch on Saturday, sin with wings.
Give your tongue to God, on Sunday sing.


Due to the acoustic nature of the record, it tends to play through seamlessly to the point where it becomes slightly uniform. Tracks can sometimes become undistinguishable from one another, but there are enough changes in mood and tempo to prevent the album from becoming arduous. “Falling Through The Roof”, a track built around a marching beat and staccato strings, and “Untitled”, a nice little piano interlude, both provide enough variation to keep things sounding fresh and interesting. All the songs are very short in length, with the longest clocking in at just 4:36 seconds. The album may have benefit with the loss of one or two tracks, but the quality never dips enough to warrant the cut of any in particular.

Words Are Dead is one of those albums that is so easy to love. Reminiscent of hot summer nights and nostalgic childhood memories, it really is quite special. A warm and minimalistic nature, Ringle’s delicate vocals and Broderick's lush arrangements make for an incredibly easy and relatable listen, and one which deserves success.

Recommended songs include:

Hardwood Pews
Finch on Saturday
Dustbowl
Walking and Running



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user ratings (44)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
tombits
January 27th 2009


3471 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I know, it's very short, but I love this album. Please, check it out.
This Message Edited On 01.27.09

gaslightanthem
January 27th 2009


5209 Comments


i just know people are gonna ignore this :/ good review man and i'll look into it some time

tombits
January 27th 2009


3471 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, most likely, but there's a huge chance people will love this if they take the time to have a listen.

www.myspace.com/horsefeathersmusic

jrowa001
January 27th 2009


8750 Comments


House With No Name is a pretty good album. ill have to check this one out sometime

timbo8
January 27th 2009


618 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sounds very interesting

Athom
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2009


17228 Comments


getting now.

tombits
January 27th 2009


3471 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Tell me what you think when you get it guys.

gaslightanthem
January 27th 2009


5209 Comments


just about to listen now actually

gaslightanthem
January 27th 2009


5209 Comments


yeah this was excellent after one listen

tombits
January 27th 2009


3471 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

So Hardwood Pews is probably my favourite song right now. This album as a whole has grown on me even more so I might have to bump the rating up to 4.5.

This Message Edited On 03.07.09

timbo8
January 29th 2009


618 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Finch on Saturday" is great. I'll soon be listening to the rest of this

tombits
January 29th 2009


3471 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good to hear. If you liked Finch On Saturday, your going to love this.

tombits
February 8th 2009


3471 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

There's a serious lack of ratings for this guys. Everyone should really give this at least one listen.

gaslightanthem
February 8th 2009


5209 Comments


yeah it's well good

alachlahol
June 3rd 2009


7515 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fuck me how did i miss this i almost like it more than cap'n crunch.

tombits
December 15th 2009


3471 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is still awesome. probably should pick up house with no home.

Waior
December 15th 2009


11461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was just listening to this and thinking the same thing.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 15th 2009


15080 Comments


house w/ no home is nice but i dont remember all too much about it


i remember it being good tho

tombits
December 15th 2009


3471 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

do you have this robertsona?

Waior
December 15th 2009


11461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I made him review A House With No Home.



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