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An Horse

Walls (Mom + Pop)

Reviewed by Richard Whittaker, Fri., Sept. 16, 2011

ACL Music Fest Friday Reviews

An Horse

Walls (Mom + Pop)

Do you have to know a band's backstory for them to make sense? No, but in the case of An Horse, it doesn't hurt. "Base-less and bass-less" is the liner notes pun, since the Australian guitar/drum duo wrote their sophomore effort by email between Melbourne and Montreal. Walls thus has a polished demo feel, with its lyrics informed by vocalist/guitarist/Canadian migrant Kate Cooper's sense of distance from family, friends, and collaborator/drummer Damon Cox. "I have nothing new to tell you since the last time that I wrote," she coos on "Dressed Sharply," but that's a lie: Walls' up-tempo melancholia eclipses 2009 debut full-length Rearrange Beds, replacing its suburban coffee shop beat with melodic angst and airport concourse tedium. Yet there's a tension: Distance may have added lyrical inspiration, but the songs seem a little incomplete. (12:20pm, Austin Ventures stage)

**.5

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