No Horses No Horses

From the opening assault of "Grab Yer Coat,” built upon a fuzzy stomp that immediately conjures the ghost of Crazy Horse’s Danny Whitten, this Vancouver sextet make a powerful statement with their debut album. In fact, there’s nothing subtle at all about No Horses’ approach, and by the time "Tombstone Eyes” inflicts its speaker damage, it’s entirely conceivable to view this band as the country rock equivalent of BC brethren Black Mountain. Even when they try to tone things down by pulling out the acoustic guitars, as on "Diggin’ A Hole,” things inevitably swirl into an Exile On Main Street-like miasma. If there is any criticism to be levelled at No Horses, it’s that the shared vocals of Kristoffer Welch, Ryan Olszewski and Nick Lawton are a tad buried. Yet that’s not enough to dampen the overall energy of the album, one that has to stand among the most exciting Canadian roots rock debuts of the year, especially for fans of Neil Young or the Drive-By Truckers. (Independent)