Saturday, 16 March 2013

Origami Horses - Velvet Rock

I've always been a sucker for record sleeve designs that have a picture of a broken doll on the front.  Such images rarely disappoint and, given that the words on the front also include 'Origami Horses', the chances of this single failing to please instantly reduced still further.

I caught onto what was going on with this intriguing duo towards the end of last year, when their In Monochrome EP found its way into my ears and into my life.  I included them in my list of favourite new bands at the end of the year and we featured a track from them on our Unwashed Territories Into The Light compilation.  Now, their 'Velvet Rock' single is out, available from the Origami Horses bandcamp site and also via the Magnetic Eye label, who've had the solid good sense to pick up on the enticing vibes emanating from this quirky, engaging and surprisingly original outfit.

I say surprisingly because the raw materials that go into making Origami Horses are really quite traditional.  John sings and plays guitar and bass, while Matt drums.  What comes out of the other end is easily definable as a song and yet the collision of the elements therein come across like a mad boffin taking them into an illegal laboratory, dosing them with chemicals extracted from his collection of Velvet Underground, Seeds and Standells records, dusting them off against the hairs of his arse and throwing the results out of the window to reassemble themselves in any manner of semi-random and unexpected configurations.

'Velvet Rock' is no exception.   At heart it's an uncomplicated garage belter, but beneath the surface things happen that set the track well apart from other mutations of the species I've heard recently.  There's an enticingly manic quality to Matt's drumming, and as the tune proceeds John's guitar starts doing that thing where it appears to acquire a life of its own, careering off to copulate messily with the drums in some area of the stratosphere occupied only by them.

Or, if you prefer, this is an absolute stormer of a tune on which you can gorge mind and body in roughly equal degrees.  Amazingly, it comes in at under three minutes, leaving me to wonder, once again, at the strange dimensions of a rock and roll universe that can allow this timespan to cram so much into its relative brevity.  Not all bands can do this, of course, and most fail immediately or else disappear up their own arse trying to avoid their fate.  Origami Horses court neither possibility and can justifiably claim to have released the most remarkable single of its type so far this year.  Hear it in my March Dandelion Radio show this month and head over to bandcamp, or Magnetic Eye, or both, and grab a piece of it for yourself.

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