The Chocolate Horse: Beasts (Stable Records)

The Chocolate Horse

Reviewed by Eric Saeger

Specializing in the wispy, sparse and non-commital zen that defined 70s chill-folk-rock, this Cincy band makes elevator music for bongpackers old and young. They rarely deviate from a formula that nestles Blind Melon between Mountain and Belle & Sebastian – wait, I’m lying, there’s some Warlocks fuzz-rock in there too. What I’m trying to say, and failing miserably, is that the band is perfectly named: it’s strong and lithe, a little too sweet, blocky and chunky but simultaneously graceful. One thing you’ll walk away knowing for sure is that this is historically accurate acid folk-rock; there’s no way you won’t think things along the lines of “Jesus, did they have to chase the singer around with a butterfly net to get him to show up in the studio or what?” Reason for that is singer Jason Snell’s half-there-ness; it’s like early 70s Ozzy in ballad mode jamming with Canned Heat in endless variations on Going Up the Country, in other words about 70% of your basic Bonnaroo crowd would take to it like magpies to a roll of Reynolds Wrap.

Grade: B-

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