An Horse: Live Last Night


Live Last Night

There are more important things in the world than the end of one young couple's affair, but it might not seem so when listening to An Horse's debut album, "Rearrange Beds." The Australian duo, which played a short and vigorous set last night at DC9, focuses tightly on singer-guitarist Kate Cooper's tales of romantic distress and yearning. And these anecdotes are embedded in music with an intensity that rivals what Cooper, in the album-opening "Camp Out," calls "that good Hole album."

(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)

Between songs, Cooper apologized for being "unfit" and suffering from the effects of bad food eaten on the road. But the twosome was admirably physical, as Cooper's guitar matched the wallop of drummer-singer's Damon Cox's percussion.

The simple, astute arrangements toggled neatly between contrast and symmetry: Tinkling cymbals complemented trebly guitar passages, resounding power chords underscored bass-drum thumps and Cox's backing vocals slipped underneath Cooper's voice to boost the choruses.

If the show had a weakness -- aside from including only eight of the 10 songs from "Rearrange Beds" -- it was the lack of release. Intimate lyrics were delivered from an emotional distance, as if receiving only "two postcards in a month or so" were no longer a vivid memory. Cooper performed with her feet primly clamped together, and on such passionate rockers as "Camp Out," her stance didn't exactly illustrate the lyrics. Singing "it's OK to fall down/It's OK to crumble," Cooper gave no hint of wobbliness.

-- MARK JENKINS

By J. Freedom du Lac |  April 15, 2009; 1:20 PM ET Live Last Night
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