Horse Heaven

Creepoid’s hook, much like that of all “slowcore,” is that there are no hooks. The music plods along, doesn't necessarily sound great through computer speakers, and it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus if one’s ears aren’t completely honed in on what’s happening. Despite its inherent disadvantages, however, the genre often yields some of the most emotionally tense, but rewarding, music for the patient listener. Horse Heaven has plenty of those moments. Gently strummed acoustic guitars often clash with dissonant electric guitars (“Wishing Well,” “Stranger”) to form a strangely haunting yet entertaining end product, while other songs delve into more familiar (but no less satisfying) territory, whether it’s a quiet build-up to a loud, guitar-laden blowout (“Grave Blanket,” “Enabler”), jangly pop (“Staircase”) or everything at once (“Dream Out,” “See-Through”). At 15 tracks and nearly an hour long, running time may be a small issue, but Creepoid have enough good ideas to make concentrated, repeated listens of Horse Heaven worth the investment.

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