Calico Horse drummer Tom Peart’s galloping percussion (particularly on tracks like the aptly titled “Onomatopoeia”) lives up to the equestrian half of their handle, while the band’s perpetually laidback vibe perfectly captures their native SoCal. Make that SoCal at night. The remnants of the late Clock Work Army, lead singer Emily Neveu and her crew navigate oft-dark waters on their debut as Calico Horse, ushering us into death with the hypnotic nautical clanking of the introductory “All We’ve Left to Do Is Pay the Boatman” and following with a description of two long-lost souls reuniting in the heavens, where objects are identified solely by their geometric shape on “Awake in the Clouds” and childhood friends become lovers and ultimately “lay side by side in wooden boxes” on “Happy Placebo Syringe Day.” These first three songs—along with “Rush of This,” “Wheat” and others—keep the album afloat, but Mirror‘s numerous bewitching sea waltzes can be a little precious at times. Interestingly, the album is given a bit of grit thanks to Matt Mournian’s vigorous guitar work and steers clear of many current indie tics and trends, which makes Mirror feel like it could have been recorded at the height of the alternative movement. The album ends as it begins, urging us to rest our weary heads on the encore “Goodnight” and inviting us to fall into the lull of Calico Horse’s softly rocking rhythms.
- Release Date
- July 13, 2008
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