Hailing from Melbourne Junk Horses describe themselves as “Patti Smith plus Birthday Party plus Primus.” After listening to their three-track EP entitled Two Thumbs Up I would say that this statement is somewhat correct. I don’t get the Primus comparison but the Birthday Party and Patti Smith comparisons make sense. The songs they play remind me of something you might hear walking into an overcrowded bar on a Friday night. To put it simply they play energetic, rock songs you might want to hear after a tough week while taking down a couple of beers.
They kick off the EP with “Two Thumbs Up,” which has a good amount of momentum that gets your mojo rising. It starts off with a lone jangly guitar that is quickly followed by strategically placed bass notes. It doesn't take long for the rest of the band to jump right in and start rocking out. The vocalist Kate Alexander has a good amount of visceral impact in her voice as she sings, “Oh they don’t give me much Just the dumb, paisley Knocked up fiancé of that sailor.” The song is over before you know it so embrace it while it lasts.
They slow the tempo down a bit with “Traitor.” The song starts with a distorted bass playing a walking bassline while the drums provide a hard-hitting steady beat. When the guitars enter they provide waves of distortion that feel just about perfect. It has the sound of that ‘70’s crunch: not overly distorted but not clean either. Alexander's silky smooth vocals provide a good feminine touch that balances out the gritty music.
They close with a short two-minute song entitled “Your Thing (Part 1).” It’s a straight up rock song that doesn't need much explanation. Two Thumbs Up is a decent EP with a couple of good songs but at the same time it sometimes feels predictable. There is nothing inherently wrong with the EP. Everyone in the band is talented and they can write a good song but with there wasn’t much going on that differentiates them from a slew of other bands creating similar rock songs.
That being said it’s a fun EP to listen to and they have enough talent here that if that keep at it they will most likely find that x-factor that makes them stick out.
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