Home > News & Reviews > Horsegirl

Horsegirl - Versions of Modern Performance (Album Review)

Monday, 13 June 2022 Written by Huw Baines

Photo: Cheryl Dunn

The key word in the title of Horsegirl’s debut LP is ‘versions’. ‘Modern’ is probably next up, but only if you count the past 35 years or so as modern. This strikingly young Chicago band play indie-rock that is cognisant of what came before them, folding knotty guitars and an understated sense of melody together in songs that pinball between Yo La Tengo, Built to Spill and early Lemonheads. Members of Sonic Youth—guitarist Lee Ranaldo and drummer Steve Shelley—stop by to have their say on a couple of tracks and slot seamlessly into the conversation. You get it.

It works because ‘Versions of Modern Performance’ isn’t an empty, winking pastiche. Horsegirl would be way, way down a list of the most original bands around, but a familiar sound does not preclude musicians from writing good songs. There is personality to burn here, from Nora Cheng and Penelope Lowenstein’s winding, unhurried vocal interplay to guitar tones that are scratchy and insistent enough to snap the listener out of any periods of inattention.

The opener, Anti-glory, captures much of their appeal, with a somnambulistic hook growing more confident and arresting as time moves on, holding our focus while the noise builds around it.

Dirtbag Transformation (Still Dirty) is more straightforward in delivering its melodic payload, recalling Speedy Ortiz as the guitars duck and weave, but equally intriguing.

Horsegirl’s obvious repurposing of their influences will eventually feel like a millstone around their neck. That’s fine, because they have time on their side and some fairly obvious starting points—Billy’s shoegaze freakout, the almost avant garde collage of sounds on The Fall of Horsegirl—from which they might move on successfully. This is a band to keep an eye on.


We don't run any advertising! Our editorial content is solely funded by lovely people like yourself using Stereoboard's listings when buying tickets for live events. To keep supporting us, next time you're looking for concert, festival, sport or theatre tickets, please search for "Stereoboard". It costs you nothing, you may find a better price than the usual outlets, and save yourself from waiting in an endless queue on Friday mornings as we list ALL available sellers!

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

Related News

No related news to show
< Prev   Next >