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A Formal Horse - Here Comes A Man From The Council With A Flamethrower CD (album) cover


A Formal Horse


Heavy Prog

4.03 | 39 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Interesting and mostly delightful indie prog punk from Angleterre. I am reminded of THE CARDIACS, FACTOR BURZACO, INNER EAR BRIGADE, HUMBLE GRUMBLE, PINGVINORKESTERN, BLONDIE, THE SMITHS, MARIANNE FAITHFULL, LENA LOVICH, TRACEY THORN, and a whole bunch of late 1970s and 1980s artists of a type of music that I was not into (short, guitar- and lyric-based witty nihilist songs).

1. "Magazine Zooey Deschanel" (2:08) Nice lyric. (8.5/10) 2. "Bird" (2:35) Nice lyric. (8.5/10) 3. "I Just Called to Say I Like You" (3:49) Awesome vocalise. A top three song for me. (9.5/10) 4. "Petroleum" (2:55) (8.75/10) 5. "Boarded Doors in Bedford Place" (1:19) sounds like Tracey Thorn! (4.5/5) 6. "Bee" (3:40) like a PINGVINORKESTERN or INNER EAR BRIGADE song. (8.5/10) 7. "Last Track on Side Fun" (3:40) (8.25/10) 8. "Coda" (1:46) (4/5) 9. "Lonely Doe Young Doe" (3:47) a more sensitive, almost operatic side of Hayley. (a song about "roadkill"?!) Gets quite heavy in the instrumental mid-section. Another top three. (9/10) 10. "Here Comes a Man from the Council with a Flamethrower" (2:05) (8.25/10) 11. "Unison One" (1:56) an instrumental exercise in staying together in odd and syncopated time signatures. (4.5/5) 12. "Commons" (3:22) sounds like a previous song. Great vocal with nice vocal harmonies from the background vocalists. My third top three song. (9.25/10) 13. "Cherub" (2:07) an old-style, full-length 1960s pop song. Could be a BEATLES song. (9/10) 14. "Unison 3" (3:58) more odd tempoed, syncopated rhythm play in a complex, high-powered instrumental. Nice team work! (8.75/10) 15. "Boarded Doors Reprise" (0:48) not very similar to the first. (4.25/5) 16. "Anyway" (3:25) children's playground voices open this one before guitar and metallic guitar riffs establish the song structure and pace. Hayley singing in her lower registers. What a remarkable voice. Not unlike k.d. lang. Love the "scor-PIon" shift of voice into operatic soprano. (9/10)

Total Time: 43:34

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music of a kind of Indie Prog Punk variation.

This is an album that really grows on you as you listen to it--especially with repeated listens. Hayley McDonnell is an extremely talented singer, storyteller, and lyricist (unless someone else is writing the lyrics that she's singing.)

P.S. If you like this you will probably LOVE Inner Ear Brigade, Pingvinorkestern, and Ut Gret.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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