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Dirty Three - Horse Stories CD (album) cover

HORSE STORIES

Dirty Three

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.16 | 18 ratings

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Ricochet
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Australian post- and prog-rockers from Dirty Three release their third album, called Horse Stories, in 1996, polishing it through a most usual and eager burn of music and expression, a typical but also drastic set of experimental ideas and a flawless hexed-heavy imagination and emotion intermingling the luster and the exposure of all the technical and conceptual fruit fashion. All of this was previously crafted, but Horse Stories sounds finally as something different, something "completely better", though it's far from a most favorite.

With these first three albums (Horse Stories topping as the album with the biggest intensity, but, just the same, as the one that supreme the band's style), Dirty Three played a lot of experimental dark-aired post-rock, with typical influences or resounds from the ambient, atmospheric or nu-sound musical world. Each album (Sad & Dangerous, highly experimental and sound-cut, Dirty Three, hazy and static, and now Horse Stories, char-fully tonic) plays its critically good role, but this album seems for sure to be all what fans, listeners and addicts could wish for and like to listen. Speaking of which, the ways of enjoying Dirty Three haven't changed majorly during this time, so that they're enormous to the taste and shape of post-rock, but perhaps they're not as much enourmous to anyone's likes.

Horse Stories further on exhausts a general impression about how Dirty Three are (or aren't) fit within the post-rock universe. It sounds already late to think they don't have a round style, since all the atmosphere and the sense of experimentalism, of long sound dreams and of craving heavy melodies, all of this has, from album #1 immediately, outlined Dirty Three in one full side of post-rock, while eliminating them from other full such sides. Horse Stories, repeating the quintessential out of Dirty Three, explodes only on the quality measure and on the vicious sound. Math or indie music-free, with no relation to the garage or sound-morphing techniques as well, but neither mazed in serenity and soundscapes, Dirty Three play a mixture of experimental expressions and disjoints, in a full cloud of post-ambient, post-melodic and post-instrumental rock - Horse Stories wrapping tight the elegance and the stress, the lusciousness and the deliriousness, the ample and the ashed out of such a style.

The album 9 pieces that are, by themselves, enough to listen and feel (or not) impressed; though they have a highly tendentious minimalism and a rookie-like emotional comply, most of the melodies, especially those that fool out some dance-like sprinkles or an ethnic drop of spontaneous forms (what ethnicity, I couldn't tell...), make you feel the texture and the hauling kind of the music. But Horse Stories, beyond its compositions, sound like an album that grabs and beholds you in a most complex way. Starting from the heart of the music, the material, despite not being experimental per se, is complicated, unnatural, frenzied, intense and a bit nonsensical , heavy or rather too hallucinogenic, artistic or perhaps too shattered by its own complex seed. The biggest examples that stands both as a nerving defect and an elementary quality is the supreme amplitude of the sound and the music: the trio doesn't have force, boost and "mega bass" up their violin-bass (guitar)-drums improvisations, therefore every pieces, even if ambient and sound-creative, is after all dry, purely reflexive and abstract (in sweet forms). A lot of the most successful pieces are a brand of minimal (even repeated) melody and "grand hall harmony", but have the grace of musicality. To a conclusion, Dirty Three intrigues, instigates and insulates its music into fine-tuning post-rock, pretentiously profound and figurative elations, heavy art and simple but stubborn expressionism (counted as modern rock, mattering as atypical sound).

The band definitely groomed an independent powerful style of music with their first three albums, Horse Stories is the best.

Ricochet | 3/5 |

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