[$5 // http://tolmieterrapinpress.bandcamp.com/album/horse-thieves]
For me, I like to think of myself as a fan of all kinds of music now but once upon a time- in my youth- there were certain styles of music that I didn't like. I think it all changed for me when I dated this girl who wouldn't listen to anything that had horns in it. While her problem might have been with ska as a genre, it wasn't really fair to cast aside all of these potentially great bands just because they might use certain instruments. (It's not the instruments, it's what you do with them!) In that way I decided that I would find at least one musician from every genre that I liked because if there are a thousand pop artists they can't all be bad, right?
The point of this story is that the one genre I seem to have the most problems relating because of my inexperience with it (and almost total- ALMOST- distaste for it) is country. I like WIllie Nelson and the like but nothing modern and nothing more than maybe five or six artists. (I'm still on the fence as to whether or not Johnny Cash is really "country" though I love him to death) Now, understand that horse thieves are by no means country in the sense of Garth Brooks or Randy Travis (Again, I'm not familiar with country music like I probably should be, but who has the time?)
What horse thieves has is a combination of country western sounds with rock n roll, punk and just sometimes flat out rocking tunes. I would normally end up comparing something like this to that time Me First and the Gimme Gimmes did a country album but this isn't really the same as that at all so I felt the need to start with a story explaining why I can't tell you this is a more rocking version of <fillintheblank> or what not because again... country.
At times the guitar riffs do sound like something out of a Johnny Cash song though this doesn't have that overall Johnny Cash feel so I'm down with that. On more than one occasion I hear the vocals in the same sort of rhythm as The Doors, but that just seems to take me away from my original point and just goes to show you that this isn't even 100% country when the country part blends with the rock.
Part psychedelic, part folk, part dirge you knew I was going to go to that one Against Me! album that I know which sounds the most like country-punk but this also has elements of Murder by Death mixed in and as much as I hear The Doors (as stated earlier) I also can hear the melodic vocals of someone like Eddie Vedder. I'll also throw in a Halfacre Gunroom reference though I highly doubt anyone reading this remembers them.
Overall it has that jangley sound of someone riding into town on a horse, a theme song for some old, forgotten western television series you never knew existed (There was one with Steve McQueen- "Wanted Dead or Alive" or something like that I never did get around to watching yet) and it just moves like Bonanza. Look, I may not draw the best comparisons in here but what I do hear reminds me of that which is good and I do like this and think you will as well even if it means drawing a little bit closer to the actual influences. (Should you know what a Tim McGraw is or happen to prefer the non-folk Jewel)