Hellfire, these musicians are getting cunning. Releasing an EP called "This is an EP" is a tactical move guaranteed to confuse the average reviewer. I suppose that the time honoured this-is-the-greatest-album-ever press release usually sent to reviewers has had its day. The question is, therefore, does the music live up to the promise set by stating the obvious?
"Wild Horses on TV" kicks off this EP and it does so in some style. The guitars go large whilst the vocals go peak period Neil Young. Shaping up just fine so far. Likewise, "Factories" hits a good few political and social points as it thunders away at you. Going just a little bit country is "Wish-a-Lot" and again the lyrics get your attention - "…trying to write a country song, I don't have a truck much less a car to drive you home in" - showing a wry and dry humour. Soaked in bourbon, this is an excellent way to dress up what would otherwise be a standard boy meets girl song. Keeping us in George Jones' pickup truck is "The Leavin'". Beaten down but never without hope, they become the voice of those on the cusp of criminality. Ending in finest lo-fi, "Love Me Hard" sounds like early Johnny Cash and takes us back to simpler times. The Horse Operas' songs are more than mere musical interludes. They are stories about people. Real people too, just like you or me. Or at least who you or me might be if we strayed from our safe 9 to 5 routine.
Now, the Horse Operas are apparently from Chicago via Texas which is no bad thing in the Bluesbunny's opinion. Musically, this band are a bit left of centre with more than just a hint of the downtrodden and the disheartened. This band reminded the Bluesbunny of the likes of Schnitzel and Mat D and the Profane Saints. That same humanity and warmth possessed by the aforementioned bands is in evidence here. It is the real deal and is to be commended for that. Available from CD Baby.