THE NICE REVIEW An Horse – Walls (Mom + Pop/Shock)
by Jodi Biddle
I am heavily ambivalent towards this album. I’ll tell you why: I fucking loved Iron On as a teenager, and had no idea their singer Kate Cooper had migrated to An Horse. My excitement exploded upon hearing the first strains of Cooper’s overpronounced twang, causing a cascade of nostalgia and memory in the way only unexpected music can cause. An Horse hasn’t departed from Iron On too much, more of a tightening-up that comes with experience.
With subsequent listens, doubt started creeping in. It’s been about eight years since I listened to anything new by Cooper, and I’ve changed a lot. My musical tastes have changed significantly (I’m looking at you, 17-year-old-Jodi, sighing longingly over the offer of discounted Nine Inch Nails tattoo with purchase of album) and well … Kate Cooper isn’t as appealing as she used to be.
Teenage me would love the angry energy of ‘Leave Me’, and the melodrama of ‘Dressed Sharply’. I’m just not as highly strung as I used to be. I’m not lonely and I’m not broken-hearted. ‘Know This, We’ve Noticed’ is deceptively uplifting, with a good ole’ hand-clapping-chanting refrain hiding melancholy lyrics (which happens a lot on this album).What used to be profound to me now fails to hit home, and the music contained within this album seems written for someone else.
The longing, the awkwardness and the cut-your-heart-out vulnerability that characterises An Horse is a soundtrack to self-discovery and the pain of growing up. If you’re young, bright-faced, hormonal, passionate, unsure, you’ll probably love An Horse. There’s a lot to recommend about this music, and just because I don’t like it all that much any more, doesn’t mean it’s not worth listening to.