They Shoot Horses Don't They? Pick Up Sticks

The opening track on Pick Up Sticks, "One Last Final Push,” starts with chunky, cartoon-ish plodding that brings to mind struggling ’30s animation. It’s a fitting introduction to this Vancouver act’s follow up to their debut, Boo Hoo Hoo Boo. Still maintaining the jumbled cacophony and whirling pop jitters, Pick Up Sticks sees They Shoot Horses Don’t They? taking a tighter, more streamlined approach to their grandiloquent eccentricities, keeping things tighter and more focused but never losing the wonderful sense of the spectacular. "A Place Called La” and "Speck of Dust” are layered, tactile tracks that seamlessly flow together. "A Place Called La” works its way into a bombastic crescendo of excitement before "Speck of Dust” brings the tempo down to rest with a crawling, moody tactic before increasing the heart rate again. Full of odd angles and relying strongly on the same clever songwriting that They Shoot Horses became known for the first time around, Pick Up Sticks is a dramatically textured sophomore album full of frantic trances. (Kill Rock Stars)