Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gift Horse's Moutain of Youth Is A Fun Climb

Yet another band in the long line of impressive bands coming from Athens, Gift Horse are a four piece that sound as if they've just woken up. With a noisy, dreamy, and nearly unconscious sound, Gift Horse seem bound and determined to bring back the long lost art of sad core through a series of excursions into the dark recesses of their minds. The results of these excursions can be heard on their album, Mountain of Youth which is an atmospheric trip into psychosis that will mesmerize and leave all who hear it, in stunned silence.

Gift Horse is indeed something you could look at in the mouth and throughout Mountain of Youth you'll be glad you did. This psychedelic wonderland of a band bring their Verve meets Low space journey to a climactic climax on Mountain of Youth which in hind sight should really be called Mountain of Noise. With guitars processed, pedalled, and reverbed into the stratosphere and droney syrupy like sighs for vocals, many of Gift Horse's songs sound as though they were recorded using Ambien as an inspiration. This is the sound of your dreams coming to reality, and Mountain of Youthis a kaleidoscopic trip through your medulla oblongata; it's slightly depressing, a bit scary and will leave you in a cold sweat. In other words, Mountain of Youth is really quite a good record.

Moody, vaporous, and haunting Gift Horse create a world that would drive psychologists nuts. This hazy world in which their songs live is confusing and in need of some help; nonetheless, Mountain of Youthploughs it's way through all of this to find a degree of pop sensibility that allows their wispy tunes to cling to a sense of structure and something your affected brain can attach itself to. These might not be chart hits in the making, but they cling to the idea that pop music need not follow the standard parameters to make its point. So, Gift Horse don't follow those parameters at all but still have enough of a sensibility about them to realize that strong songs are something that's easy to embrace. The pretty much succeed taking that philosophy and running with it throughout much of Mountain of Youth; only occasionally to the band actually sound as though their sleepwalking and for all I know they may actually be sleepwalking.

In any case, Gift Horse have created a blissful, dark, sheet of noisy awesomeness. Whether it's the quiet loud of "Plastic People," or the noisy, near MBV-like, "Missionaries," it's nice to see that Gift Horse are tapping into the untapped. Mountain of Youth is a fine record of lazy days and hazy nights that's been beamed in from space. Who knew such things existed in Athens and more importantly, are there more like it up there?

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