ALBUM REVIEW: Red Horses of the Snow – Territories

red horses of the snow territories

 

Written for the 405

The cover art for Territories makes it look like the sort of CD both sold and played on an infinite loop in New Age shops. This is important. All supporting literature – online biographies, press releases, and such – make a point of referring to the duo as a “studio-based” band. This is also important.

All of the signs you pass on the way to actually listening to Red Horses of the Snow suggest that they would be much loved by the Radio 2, Q– and possibly MOJO-reading crowd. Not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe an unexciting one, but not a bad one either.

This is only half true. Territories does feature some sumptuous, harmonious vocals, the sort of which you either enjoy, because it does sound lovely and impressive and inoffensive (like Fleet Foxes), or which you may despise, finding it insipid and dull (like Fleet Foxes). It features lyrics which are from a similarly inoffensive school of poetic imagery, verging between the vague and obtuse.

On the other hand, there’s a startling resemblance to the dream-pop sound which hip young things such as The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and Beach House are currently mining from the abandoned land of My Bloody Valentine. The distortion and reverb are turned down, but the music still makes you feel like you’re floating down a steady, reassuring current, whilst a distant voice coos in your ear.

Combined, the make for perfectly good lazy Sunday afternoon listening. The songs all flow together, none standing out particularly whilst never quite bland enough to warrant switching off. There’s nothing that will be cause to shout about, but nothing drab enough to bother bemoaning. Not quite the warm, reassuring womb of Loveless, more a stand-in security blanket.

Essentially: it’s quite nice. And that’s all. Territories is not going to set the world on fire, or be anyone’s favourite record. It also won’t be anyone’s most hated. And that’s okay.

5/10

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