Album review: Super Wild Horses' 'Fifteen'
On the heels of one sold-out, impossible-to-find and highly lauded 7-inch single, Melbourne, Australia, indie-pop duo Super Wild Horses' debut long-player, "Fifteen," is finally available from HoZac Records.
The band's stripped-down, fuzzy, post-punk sound is propelled by a simple formula of guitar, bass and keyboard, which youthful band members Amy and Hayley freely switch among. Duos can be as problematic as one-man bands in that their limited resources often deliver a half-realized product that could benefit from a few more brushstrokes, but Super Wild Horses somehow manage to pull off an enjoyable record despite the challenges. Their sound may be primitive and untutored, but many of their songs feature enough hooks and attractive flourishes to lift them out of the naive lo-fi rut.
"Fifteen" has a loose, extemporaneous texture that occasionally strays toward a torpid repetitiveness, especially in the latter half of the album. A little sunny fuzziness goes a long way, after all, and "Fifteen" glows with enough sunny fuzziness to power several albums. But Super Wild Horses makes up for it with several earnest, well-wrought successes that are buoyed by a distinct pop twist. Highlights include the careless, lilting "I Want You," the straightforward teenage love ballad, "Adrian," and the pulsing, dreamlike "Golden Town," which dissolves in the end into a foggy blanket of crashing cymbals and stellar guitar work.
Super Wild Horses
Three stars (out of four)
Get a taste of Super Wild Horses with the music video for "Golden Town," from "Fifteen."