The number one way to guaranTEE i’m in a good mood while listening to your album is to send it me through the post. Everyone loves getting mail and i’m no exception. Maybe it’s unfair to the people who go to the effort of copy sending out the same e-mail to 100’s of random bloggers but that’s just the way it goes down in this town.
First impressions aside, the immediate thing I happened to notice about Manchester’s Trojan Horse was that some of their tracks are kind of epic; I’m talking 7, 8 and THIRTEEN minutes long. Usually this means we’re in the presence of some serious psychedelia or maybe even some prog rock… Well everything I had assumed about TH was also laid down in their press release. Seems I’ve still got it.
Far be it from me however, to write a review of an album without listening to it which I appreciate is a favoured approach of a mind numbing number of music bloggers, it is time for me to get ready for what I expect to be some fairly engrossing sounds.
The opening track is entitled “Mr Engels says…” now as you are no doubt aware Peter Engel was the creator of formulaic yet brilliant teen high school comedies such as saved by the bell and California dreaming. I would say this prooobably isn’t in reference to him due to a number of reasons, different name for example… but if it is- ha, nice.
At first you are struck by the opening harmonies sounding a little Beatlesque and then by the glimmering music broken up by simple but effective bass underlying exactly what was promised. The fact that these guys are from Manchester is almost irrelevant as they don’t fit any of the many stereotypes that are usually bandied around regarding bands from the area. You forget they’re even from this planet within a few minutes. They’re more akin to the more experimental and euphoric elements of MGMT and the best hidden tracks at the end of albums.
Strangely there were parts of this that reminded me of another Manchester band, Wu Lyf. I’ve listened to those guys about half a dozen times and yeah, I don’t get it but parts of it that were good like spoken vocals underscoring music and escalating repetition are absolutely aced here. Why NME are talking about those guys and not these i’ve no idea.
Live Trojan Horse must be mammoth, there is no WAY that this music cannot translate into a ridiculously brilliant live show. I feel like the music and imagery would merge all the audience members’ along with the bands’ until there’s just a gooey brain pulsating out this brilliant, ethereal smattering of all of the best elements of the genres these guys are championing.
TH have been together nearly 4 years now and have spent the majority of that time creating what they feel is “the album of the decade, if not the fucking millennium”. If those words were uttered by Kanye West you wouldn’t pay much attention but when someone says that about their debut album you should probably give it your time. Oh- unless it’s Liam Gallagher talking about Beady Eye.
The band themselves aren’t fans of the usual indie and guitar driven Manc music which seems to be directly reflected in their music. It seems everything about this record has been painstakingly created to go against anything close to that and I feel they invite you to make comparisons knowing that they’re nothing like anyone you could care to mention.
You know how good psychedelia chills you out, takes a few beats out of your pulse and makes you feel like you’ve had a bowl with whatever band it is; TH deliver in these respects. Their 13 minute opus bicycle jam for example, takes you all kinds of places. If you’re not well versed with this kind of music you might be fooled into thinking some of this is a bit messy or at worst- lazy. That really couldn’t be further from what has gone into this album. They say their music is that which “They want to desperately hear but nobody else bothers to make as it requires a bit of thought”. Perfect.
If you want a short cut into their music check out Black Russian and Patricroft way as, in a way they are the standout tracks but mainly due to them being more accessible but if you want to not give a fuck about the world for an hour, kick back and chill your face off go get the album over at bandcamp
Download from Bandcamp: Black Russian, Patricroft way & … And the lights went down