Last Monday, Dark Horses released their debut album Black Music. We’d have written about it sooner, but we were waiting to tie it in with the launch party on halloween, and we’ve been shellshocked ever since.
Black Music, put simply, is the most powerful album to be released by any Brighton Band this year. It’s sleazy rock’n’roll. It’s filthy electro. It’s teutonic Krautrock. It’s the soundtrack to the film that Quentin Tarantino hasn’t made with David Lynch. It’s the smell of oil, leather, sweat and blood. It’s amazing. By about now, you should have stopped reading and opened up another browser window to order the album (try here).
Dark Horses got Death In Vegas main man Richard Fearless in to produce the album, and he’s the perfect choice. Black Music recalls some of the best bits from The Contino Sessions or Scorpio Rising. Around two thirds of the way through the album, the pace drops and things quieten with a few cover versions, the first being a song called Sanningen Om Dig by singer Lisa Elle’s Swedish compatriot Tomas Andersson, and the second a surprisingly delicate take on Talking Head’s Road To Nowhere, featuring harp and a doo-wop backing.
Live, Dark Horses were as fearsome a prospect as the album, playing up to the myth with each band member dressed in black,, minimal lighting and dry ice filling the stage, and Lisa Elle adding to the mystique by talking in Swedish between the tracks. It was also daunting for me to take photos of the band – Dark Horses are one of the first acts I’ve come across who’ve given their photographer equal credit alongside each band member. They also manage to transcend the feeling that we were watching a local act – driven by their stage presence primarily, but also the following the band have, not coming to see them because they’re local, or because they’re friends with one of the members, but for what a great band they are.