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Fools & Horses
Pop Filter

Independent rock is at a kind of crossroads lately. There are bands that continue to push the envelope and find new ways to create sound and arrange songs, and then there are bands that are content to sit and idly reproduce structures and sounds that have been done over and over, run into the ground. Fools & Horses fit into the former category. The band relies on creative songwriting and even more creative sonic usage of instruments to create some of the most memorable indie rock of the year so far.

"Would You Know" starts the record off with a bang, really drawing the listener in, waiting for what could possibly come next. There are guitar lines that have that telltale early millennium jerk, similar to bands like The Hives or The Strokes, but those form merely the basic rhythms of the song. Then add in some great vocal performances courtesy of Matt Hutchinson that skirt the line between hair metal and indie, but are so well produced and distinct that they are immediately likeable. Then, add in the long wailing lead lines that sound almost like analog synthesizers, all atop crisp drumming, and you've got a winning combination. "Fly Me To The Moon" gets a bit edgier, leaning towards later-Soundgarden-style rock, while maintaining a fresh sound and inventive music. "The Therapy" could well be an Ian Thornley composition, not only with the excellent tongue-in-cheek lyricism, but also in the arrangement and delicious guitars that play beautifully off of one another.

On "Somebody Waits", the band releases their tender side, delicate lyrics working their way above an acoustic guitar intro that leads into a gently orchestrated pseudo-country ramble. "Around The Lake" is a bit more poppy, with a bouncing bassline that carries the song to a different plane than most of the rest of the record. "Love Song" has a strangely rolling melody that is off rhythm enough to be interesting, while not being distracting from the forceful beauty of the track. By the time the album hits "Song For A Mo(u)rning", there is little doubt that this band can genre-jump with the best of them, and in this song, Coldplay style pianos lead into Queen-esque epic rock with the perfect amounts of feedback and wildly wailing guitars to form a perfect song. The album wraps with "In Becky's Car", which has a tender bouncing rhythm that underscores a literate prose that revels in life's experience.

Not since the first Big Wreck album have I been so enamored of a new band. The classic elements of rock are all to be found on Pop Filter, but there are plenty of components that transcend modernism and lean towards what might just be the next big thing in indie rock… and all with honest credibility and aural blissfulness. A great combination.

-L. Keane

Track Listing:
1. Would You Know
2. Fly Me To The Moon
3. The Therapy
4. Frera
5. Deutschland Wunderland
6. Somebody Waits
7. Around The Lake
8. Love Song
9. Night Train
10. The Legend Of Billy Jack
11. Song For A Mo(u)rning
12. In Becky's Car

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