Jack Winders (vocals/guitar), Jayden Howie (vocals/guitar) and Seth Tuscherer (vocals/drums) are the three members of the band Horseplay. On their self-titled album Horseplay they play music that feels undeniably American. The songs contain bits of rock and country that feel connected to rural living, the broad experiences we Americans experience and traditional values.
The music isn’t reaching for cosmic truths but instead imparts the ubiquitous emotions we experience such as loss, love, hope, etc. It’s messages and topics that have been explored plenty of times before but maybe that’s because they are a constant within our lives.
The familiar feel and vibe of the music is surpassed by the delivery. Musically, the band is fairly straightforward. The chord progressions and structure of the songs are simple and serve as a canvas for the exceptional vocal performances. The vocals resonate with things that come to mind when you think of born and bred Americans who were raised on apple pie and Nascar. The vocal delivery combines a country singer’s inflection with the pride of being a proud born in the states.
The album is consistently solid when it comes to the songwriting. At ten songs the album does not test your patience and won’t have you reaching to switch the next track. The band opens with “Grab Hold” which sounded like a mix between ‘90s alternative and country. You can hear a bit of Counting Crows in there and the song is one you might imagine being played at a country fair where the locals are slightly tipsy and the kids are chasing balloons.
I’m a sucker for handclaps and banjos and was immediately enjoying “Tennessee.” The bluegrass, rustic feel was joyful and hopeful despite the song being about a breakup. He sings, “Down the road (Down the road) She's gonna miss me down the road.” “Along for the Ride” rides a bit of honky-tonk while “What You Need” contains a coat of melancholy which sounded good. They close with the seven-plus-minute “Southern Skies” which is the most ambitious and epic song out of the batch.
What I enjoyed about this album is that the band is confident in the type of music they want to play and just do it. They aren’t overthinking anything and also aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel or meld it with EDM. It’s pure, straightforward and a slice of the old red, white and blue.
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