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Drunk Horse's third album, Adult Situations, is another mixed bag from a band that's way more artistically ambitious than just about every other band in the retro '70s hard rock sub-genre. They're also way smarter than most bands mining this same territory, and, as an unfortunate side effect of that, seemingly more ironic -- and less committed to letting their music stand on its own -- than most of those bands. Throughout this album, their bluesy, riff-based rock tunes draw on a range of familiar influences -- the James Gang's "Funk #49," Humble Pie, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and early Allman Brothers -- as well as slightly less-commonplace ones such as Santana (see the Latin-tinged "Company Man") and even the jazz-rock of mid-period Steely Dan. They do a great job of taking these influences and twisting them around into songs that are, for the most part, quite a bit more involving and complex than you'd expect from such a band: for example, check out the convoluted instrumental breakdowns on "Wildlife" or the stuttering odd-time riff on "Ascension Strut," which is probably the standout track. The production, courtesy of fellow analog purist Tim Green of the Fucking Champs, is also excellent. The main drawback to this album, then, would be the lyrics. While Adult Situations is not a concept album like their previous effort, Tanning Salon, the band's attempts to shoehorn complicated, often humor-oriented narrative lyrics into their songs are still occasionally problematic -- whether it's a hard rock song about Johann Sebastian Bach; an ironic ditty about chasing hairy, overweight homosexual men (the thinly veiled "Wildlife"); or a knowingly tired double entendre having to do with getting a lube job. Even their ode to partying and listening to loud music, "One Dollar Records," comes across as maddeningly insincere. Ultimately, Drunk Horse seems caught between wanting to be a simple '70s-style hard rock bar band and something more clever and exotic, and this balance continues to prove difficult to pull off three albums into their career. That is to say, the music is there, but the final presentation just isn't quite what it could be.
|Label:||Tee Pee Records|
Performance CreditsDrunk Horse Primary Artist
Aaron Nudelman Bongos
Cyrus Comiskey Bass,Percussion,Bass Guitar,Electric Piano,Background Vocals,Double Bass,Group Member
Elijah Eckert Guitar,Percussion,Electric Piano,Vocals,Group Member
Cripe Jergensen Drums,Group Member
John Niles Guitar,Percussion,Background Vocals,Group Member
Tim Soete Guitar,Soloist
Eric Ledford Cello
John Niles Guitar,Background Vocals
Tim Green Electric Piano
Technical CreditsElton John Composer
Cyrus Comiskey Composer
Elijah Eckert Composer
John Niles Composer
Tim Green Engineer