It would not be too far from the mark to say that The Hours EP was a potent and impressive introduction to UK electronic rockers High Horses, with its title track the single last year that especially stirred up ears and appetites for the band’s full and flavoursome sound. Now the Manchester trio has unveiled its successor, History Repeats, a release taking their familiar yet forcibly fresh sound into new dramatic and virulently roaring climes.
Since the release of their first EP and single, the band has been busy with the likes of shows and interviews alongside sessions and regular plays on BBC Introducing. It is a schedule and energy set to be emulated and surpassed as the now three strong line-up of Kieran (guitars/vocals), Stephen (keys/bass/vocals), and Lyndon (drums) reinforce and forge a new stature and reputation to their impressing emergence through History Repeats.
Released through Animal Farm Records, the EP opens with Fiction and straight away thumping thick beats within a radiance of keys awakes ears and attention. Their magnetic union is soon joined by potent vocals and harmonies, their flame matched by the increasing web of guitar and keys but superbly grounded through the dark tone of bass. A rich drama and virulence comes with the evolving adventure and energy of the track, the chorus a harmonic anthem and keys a narrative of expression and imagination in their own right. Once again it is probably fair to say that some textures and colouring in the song has a recognisable presence yet it only brings appealing hues to the definitely more unique invention and voice of the band’s sound.
The captivating infection continues in Sleep The World Away, punchy beats the lead into a waltz of keys and melodic enterprise. There is a more restrained energy to the song compared to its predecessor, but an equally involved tapestry of keys, guitar, and vocals blessed with, at times, an eighties synth rock air. There is also a more classical, almost medieval hue to the dance conjured by synths, their elegance and invention aligned to a feistier modern tenacity persistently driven by the resonating rhythmic bait of bass and drums.
The track also reveals just a little more of the new maturity and expansion in the High Horses sound between releases; it not a massive leap but one with a new craft and understanding of merging and entwining varied strands of imagination and resourcefulness, a success in evidence again in the closing To The Honour. The song carries open shadows from its first breath, but it is a darker ambience which is at ease in welcoming and giving way to the impassioned and anthemically crafted bellow of the song. Though the increasingly gripping incitement does not have the sonic rush of the first track, it is almost cyclonic in its invigorating and melodically bracing roar, ensuring as it transfixes that it leaves ears and emotions hungry for more.
High Horses have given their potent and fascinating ascent a real push with History Repeats, though there is a sense that the band is still finding its unique feet and that there is much more inside their creativity to blossom and thrill. An exciting thought though more of the same next time would go down a treat too.
The History Repeats EP is out now via Animal Farm Records through many online stores and https://open.spotify.com/album/0plp8Cnq1Mo62TCl3sG8Do