Calico Horse - Mirror CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Monday, August 11, 2008

Calico Horse - Mirror CD Review

I'm still playing catch-up with some CDs that slipped through the cracks as I was trying to get my life in order a few months back. (Apologies to Banter Records and the band...)
Calico Horse - Mirror CD ReviewSan Diego's Calico Horse evolved out of singer Emily Neveu's previous band The Clock Work Army after recording sessions with this band collapsed. According to the San Diego Reader, Emily told the Reader in an email that “members of the band are leaving me...[a]s the founding member of the band and the main decision maker, I have decided to change the [band’s] name, to complete the new record myself and release it. A new name has not been chosen quite yet. This all has happened so quickly that I haven't had time to come up with anything, sadly.”

Fast forward a year and both the band's name and sound has changed. Calico Horse released their debut CD Mirror in late June on Banter Records. Gone is Clock Work Army's post-punk agit-pop and it has ben replaced with an ornate goth-pop sound (Awake In The Clouds is pretty representative of the tracks on this disc)

Overall, Mirror has a dark feel to it but it isn't quite goth. A number of songs have upbeat rhythms and Emily's clear vocals leave the listener with somewhat of a "whistling in the graveyard" experience. A number of the song titles, lyrics and effects add to the overall "graveyard" experience. There are songs like "Happy Placebo Syringe Day" which starts with a children's class reciting the "Hail Mary" and ends with Emily singing about people laying side-by-side in wooden boxes. "Father Feed Me" is a somewhat 'upbeat' piece that starts with the lyric "My father is dead and gone, He sold his soul for bread. I'm marked to walk the earth...". The piano instrumental "Interlude 5" is pure spook-house music. At this point...I'm sure that you get the idea that this isn't a jolly band.

That being said, this is still great late night listening and the disturbing aura of this disc is really no different than listening to the Velvet Underground (I'm specifically thinking of "The Gift") or similar. The band is currently playing around California and have talked about a national tour later this year.

Calico Horse's MySpace Profile
Calico Horse's Website
The Clock Work Army's MySpace Profile