Like those, Horse Party are based out of Bury St Edmunds, an eastern English town famous of its association with the magna carta, its ruined abbey, brewing and for voting in a hapless Tory MP in every election, even in the Labour landslide years. Musically, it has a surprisingly fine history for a market town so close to Cambridge with excellent largely indie acts appearing at various wee pubs and clubs over the past decade or so.
Quigley has joined up with Ellie Langley and Shannon Hope, of which less is known about, to record music that is epic, ear-achingly challenging, and yet dotted with dramatic feminine touches.
There was a sparseness about both MBA and TCN that was both hugely appealing, and a turn off with their occasionally cold atmospherics. Now, in Horse Party the trio continue those traits, but with more vigour while shedding some of the more gloomier aspects.
Quigley generally keeps to playing guitar on debut album Cover Your Eyes (Integrity records), though he does take lead vocals on Let The Man Die. Otherwise, those duties belong to Langley.
It is the song you would wish Quigley to sing: “In the land of the free, see the brave sit homeless again/ Send your son to the factory, sell your daughter to shame.”
There’s rat-a-tat guitar hooks bouncing all over the shop on the first tune, Back To Mono, that is incessant and as hearty as most of PJ Harvey’s Stories From The City, Stories From The City album. This virtually segues into Clarion Call, a beefy guitar fest that continues the in-yer-face frantic aural assault of the opener; Inbetween, meanwhile, marries melody and the impatience of punk aesthetics for what is one of the more pleasing tracks on the album.
Other than Let The Man Die, which questions the reality of the American Dream, the lyrics – shared between Langley and Quigley – focus on the personal and that of the observer … “I laugh so easily lately.”
While Back To Mono, Clarion Call, Let The Man Die and Inbetween are worth hailing, there’s much to feel disappointed about; there’s a repetition that becomes galling. Scarlet And Blue is turgid and messy; and the closer, To Know You Less is a ballad which lacks intrigue, though at least it is a change pace.