Review Summary: Excellent psych-rock from a group of kids out of Cardiff who relish in their influences to superb effect.
Drugs are cool kids. What? Oh sorry, let me pause this for a moment. Excuse me I was busy listening to some very convincing psychedelic rock, I apologize. Such a persuasive listen in fact, these so called Race Horses
had me basically spurting out hazily dumbfounded (awesome) malarkey out my pie hole for the past 40 or-so minutes. But you must understand friend, sadly while Goodbye Falkenburg
is spinning I can’t help but endorse my beginning statement with a full heart. When considering the nature of the music too (psychedelia!) one would assume this is really only a plus. That the band’s Brit-Pop by way of the Kinks meets the psych-rock of fellow Welsh-men Super Furry Animals should by all accounts, embody substance enjoyment, or if nothing else promote the woozy aesthetic. With their proper debut Goodbye Falkenburg
these Horses enter this race with a clear advantage over many of their competitors. Not a bad start.
There is of course more to this blisteringly catchy debut than just the mind-*** bombast, it is actually packed full of finely tuned pop songs that are steeped knee deep in classic British rock. Race Horses basically play fuzzy Britpop and they don’t mind that you know it. In fact friend, they almost endeavor to make sure you understand their influences. They wear their Sgt. Pepper’s shirts with pride (“Cacen Mamgu“), blast their early Kinks (“Scooter“) and Super Furry’s (“Marged Wedi Blino“) proudly from their stereos. It is almost that tendency to unabashedly play out their favorite bands that gives the obvious stabs to their predecessors more of an homage feel. It also doesn’t hurt that they have excellent choice of who to ape in the first place. Rather than taking cues from more contemporary Brit-popers like Blur or Oasis (they still kind of do), they shoot all the way back to the 60s roots, giving the rehashing (only in the basest sense) a fresher feel in the end. Their obvious open love-letter to goofy-nautical themed pop that is “Captain Penelope Smith” or hugely successful attempt at Arthur
era Kinks with “Cake” bypass their inherent derivative nature and instead chock up to extremely good pop songs. Which is basically what could be said for the entire album, every little road bump that could occur, or retread of past sounds that could arise usually doesn’t seeing as Race Horses are clever enough to quell them with insane psychedelic flourishes, then maybe some great harmonies, or just straight up classic buzzy punk.
Influences and what not aside, what saves Goodbye Falkenburg
from itself, and I guess its own roots, is the fact that all the little blurbs of soft horns, zippy phasers, and chamber pop strings just seem to move the album along. Their sense of urgency and energy isn’t lost in the translation, specifically during the band’s Welsh-language ditties, you wouldn’t even know. Like all great music, the tunes transcend the language barrier and will have many concert-goers screaming along to Welsh football chants and boy-girl diatribes in a foreign tongue. That I would say is what gives this album so much value in the first place. You see besides the fact that one could be roused to believe in the ways of the psychedelic
from a mere spin; Goobye Falkenburg
presents a collection of sounds that are very closely linked to the past, and in a time where everything is old news
, Race Horses still manage to avoid the backlash by simply crafting an album’s worth of excellent tunes.