Horse Thieves - "S/T" c20, Mole People - "Mole Scroll" c40 (Tolmie Terrapin Press)

Since taking up the cassette criticism vocation I've heard the good and bad of most any genre one can imagine: doom, punk, lo-fi pop, sythn-pop, ambient, drone, dance, noise, etc, but I've yet to hear bona fide country jams. OK, so maybe Los Angeles' Horse Thieves is more country-punk than say a traditionalist might hear 'em, but fuck it...I LOVE THIS BAND! Their twenty minute EP is so rawhide enjoyable I can't keep from playing at least once a day...It's damn fantastic. The slide guitar playing has me slapping my knee every time and the vocalist is like a drunk (or drunker) Kris Kristofferson mixed with some whacked out Meat Puppets slouch (not any of the acid punk rock however). Every song is good, tight, and under three minutes long. I love me some terrifying hiss scum noise blasts, but as an average listener I have more song based records in my collection than metal machine disciples so when an honest to God BAND cassette falls into my lap I always pray to my analog Buddha that it doesn't suck. "Red House," the first cut, accurately sets the cow punk dive bar on a Saturday night scene that lasts for the rest of the EP. Perhaps it's my Austin, TX home drfting into my brain as I listen to Horse Thieves, but I'm thinking about cold pitchers of Fireman's #4 and hot buzzing amps...and it makes me feel good. DO IT. BUY Horse Thieves!!

Mole People's Mole Scroll is presented wonderfully as it comes with a small booklet of poems that comprise the lyrics to the songs of the album, glow in the dark labels, and moody mysterious cover art. The demented No Wave Residents-ish vibe of the twenty song project is solid from start to finish, but I had little emotional response to the music. Honestly, rats and moles and sewers and grime all make me interested not and grossed out. I'm not being objective...tough. The guitars do crunch and squeal pretty nicely and the vocals are often treated to menacing proportions...I'm just not into creep rawk. Many listeners will probably think I'm dead wrong and that's fine. Give the Mole People a chance and prove me incorrect.

Listen and Buy HERE.