The Austin Chronicle

SXSW Wednesday Record Reviews

Trials & Truths (Bella Union)

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, March 17, 2017, Music

Denton-born and Oklahoma City-based Horse Thief rolls in chiming, dreamy indie rock that hearkens blog bands of the previous decade, yet their sophomore LP and Bella Union debut still offers moments that ring fresh beyond simple nostalgia. Mellow and melodic, the quintet sways behind Cameron Neal's lingering croon, opener "Another Youth" dishing Walkmen-esque swells, while "Empire" unfolds in slow crescendo. Neal restrains throughout, even on the aggressive moments of "Evil's Rising" and poppy stutter of "Difference," but closing triptych "Mountain Town," "Million Dollars," and "Sante Fe" lulls with folksy ballads and harmonies that drop any earned momentum. (Wed. 15, Easy Tiger, 12mid)


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