Mail the Horse works. They are putting in the time, and are ready to strike out into the realm of true road-dogs. It’s a level of purity few are able to ascend to for a variety of reasons no one who hasn’t made that jump should be ashamed of. One thing that is paramount however is the strength of the board with which you might test the surf. Mail the Horse could play for days without repeating a song; each one as thick and deep as the last. Theirs is a hand-hewn longboard, smoothed by every wave, made light with the deftness of their touch. They’re students of sound; well versed in philosophy and tone. This is what sets them apart from the number of bands out there doing that classic rock thing. They are so legitimately living this life, that I have posited two different explanations:1. Some of Keith Richards’ blood, during any number of his infamous transfusions, was misplaced, and in a freak accident, each member of Mail the Horse, while infants, were exposed. Then, after puberty, and with the correct proportion of drugs, sex, alcohol, and rock and roll to react to Mr. Richards’ blood, their true destinies manifested; or
2. On a cross Canadian tour in 1970, their bus went off a cliff and they were lodged in a freezing river, later to be recovered and revived by the government with little explanation, and set back on the road.
Regardless of which of these may be true, these gentlemen might come off a bit mad; a bit out of their minds. A bit sweaty, and frantic; a bit out of control. This is a side effect of knowing your true state of being exists while in the middle of a song, on the road, or on stage. Downtime feels like madness, and music is the ultimate salve. Healing comes in three part harmony, with a band fueled by vacuum tubes, country music, and insomnia.
Planet Gates is their new record, and it is a heaping mother effing mountain. You don’t have to climb it though; you start on the top, and you run down it full speed, laughing, heart racing, and with tears streaking across your face in the cool wind. The album starts strong, with “Best I Can”, a mellow gallop, hopeful and strident. The bass skips along the water like a hundred deftly thrown stones, each new ripple struck strong and true. It fades out like a boss, and what I like to think of the real opener takes over, “Holy Motel Magic”. It features the complete sound of Mail the Horse: drums conceived partway between rhythm and blues and Big Brother and the Holding Company; swaggering guitar; piano and organ; pedal steel; heavy bass; and those killer vocals. Then you’re off to work with the band: each song buoyed by a distant familiarity, and definitive heart and soul. Their work is substantial and far from over.
— Eric Gagne
6/12 – Peterborough, NH – The Thing In the Spring Festival ^
6/24 – Brooklyn, NY (Record Release Show) – Knitting Factory *
7/8 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
7/10 – Washington, DC – Acre 121
7/11 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theatre
7/12 – Athens, GA – TBA
7/13 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
7/14 – Nashville, TN – The Stone Fox
7/15 – Lexington, KY – Best Friend Bar
7/16 – Louisville, KY – Kaiju
7/17 – St. Louis, MO – Blueberry Hill
7/18 – Chicago, IL – Cafe Mustache
7/20 – Cincinnati, OH – Chameleon Club
7/25 – Woodstock, NY – Bearsville Theater #
8/1 – Wassaic, NY – Wassaic Project Festival
^ = w/ Wren Kitz
* = w/ Sam Cohen, Rivergazer
# = w/ Hiss Golden Messenger