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October 2014
Tetherball
"Whimsy
"
mp3

 

Steve Voss paints the picture of a mid-aughts major label stalwart that eventually buckled under the weight of feedback from the mess of people involved in the process. Framed with this context, the moniker Tetherball comes into sharp relief. At the end of his rope and refusing to be swatted back and forth into submission, Voss withdrew from Atlantic Records and his home state of Colorado. He receded to a studio in an industrial neck of Nashville, still tinkering with sound but with a very cracked perspective; essentially the industry version of Lazlo Hollyfeld.

 

Tetherball's album will officially drop October 28th via Silver Point Recods. Even if this backstory weren’t true, “Whimsy” still sounds like someone reveling in their eccentricity. It’s weird, and deals it out its peculiarity in mid-tempo canters and clearly-baked moseys. Sci-fi plays just as big of a thematic influence as personal experience, so if you have a taste for the slightly off-center, parts of this album will have you clapping your hands in delight. The guitar tone has a tendency to do infectiously cool things, like the jangle at the opening of “Vegetarian” or the tit for tat that kicks off “Bootss.” This album could probably play in tandem with any South Park episode and mirror it with frightening accuracy.

 

This is not to say that Voss has lost all awareness of pop sensibility. For very Primus off-note there is an alternative snarl, which makes for an interesting and palatable listen. Tetherball maintains a high level of theatrics throughout, from the grand sweeping boredom of “Hometown” to the Western swing of "Boulderado" the big top rhythm of “Spring Chicken,” a track that had me playing indie-rock matchmaker and wondering for a second how cool it would be to see them on tour with Thao and the Get Down Stay Down.

 

“Whimsy” is an amazing first statement from this fledgling band. It’s clear that this is a pin pulled from a grenade, and that the Tetherball dimension is something that will only expand. We can’t wait to see how this band evolves. Stream the album HERE, and check out their website at: www.tetherballmusic.com

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Review of A Thousand Horses', "A Thousand Horses"

Review of A Thousand Horses', "A Thousand Horses"

Tyler Durden (Fight Club) once said, “You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.” A Thousand Horses seems to be cool with that. Instead of molding to the pretensions of rock, they pay homage to their predecessors in their Southern-rock infused self-titled debut EP. This, ironically, makes them pretty unique.
Frontman Michael Hobby looks the part of the “long haired hippie” he sings about in “Travelin’ Man” and personifies the rock n roll stereotypes that exist because it’s rock n roll, damn it. With a voice that sounds like a younger Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes), he has a raspy, bluesy lilt that is evident on every track.


The rest of the band consists of Bill Satcher on lead guitar, Graham DeLoach on bass, Zach Brown (no, not that one) on guitar and Shane Lenzen on drums. Their five-track EP was recorded with the help of producer Dave Cobb in Silver Lake, CA. They recorded in one room as a full band, which is perhaps why the album has the spontaneous and eager feel of a live show.


Each track seems to channel a different ghost of rock past, most notably Tom Petty and Led Zeppelin. The lyrics of many of the songs on the EP solidify their “been there, done that” attitude of touring musicians, who both mock and adore the lifestyle they’ve chosen. The music, however, is the actual proof that these guys know what they’re doing. The natural harmony of the electric guitar, bass and drums make it evident that this band has been doing more than jamming in a garage.
The stand out track is hands-down “A Thousand Horses,” which fittingly features The Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson. The band plays so seamlessly together on this track, I kept hoping for a Slash-inspired extended guitar solo. The rest of the album is exactly what a rock album should be: simple, fun and catchy enough to remember the lyrics after your seventh PBR.


There’s nothing trendy about this EP and it doesn’t take any gimmick lessons from Ke$ha (the dollar sign still perplexes me). It’s a jam-til-4-a.m.-don’t-take-your-shoes-off-at-the-door-buy-someone-a-drink-and-make-some-bad-decisions kind of album. And that is definitely rock n roll. – Krystal Wallace

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