Horse or Cycle is a fine band.
So Friday night marked the release of Horse or Cycle’s new album Flood Season. I’m not sure why they called it Flood Season, but I like the title because it has some nice vowel sounds in it and reminds of the Margaret Atwood book, The Year of the Flood, which I just read and liked very much. I could just ask a member of Horse or Cycle why they called it that, seeing as one of their members is also in Boca Chica and I see the rest of them pretty often. But that would not be the kind of journalism you’ve come to expect from The Girl from Boca Chica.
HoC marked their album release with a show at Belvedere’s, Lawrenceville’s finest drinking establishment resembling an old skating rink and your aunt’s basement. Boca Chica opened the night and The Get Real Gang (former Dr. Dog/Lohio/Harlan Twins members new project) closed it. It was a pretty spectacular event. Before I even got there, I got a text from (new Boca guitarist) J. saying “Wtf is going on at belvederes.” As i pulled up, I saw what he meant. There were literally 700 bicycles locked outside and a line down the block to get in. I thought they must have seen my bicycle post and decided to support Boca Chica. But no, actually the Bike Pittsburgh Pedal Pale Ale ride ended at Belvedere’s with free beer, so the whole ding-dang place was filled with sweaty cyclists. It was pretty sweet.
Anyway– back to Horse or Cycle. They’re a great Pittsburgh band– sort of 90s alternative cool kid influenced folk rock. I didn’t realize that they were so heavily influenced by 90′s rock until I a) read about their influences in the City Paper and b) had my roommate excitedly tell me that they sounded exactly like her favorite band from high school. I don’t remember their name but it was something with Ted Leo and not the Pharmacists. I am not very good at picking out 90s influences because I was not very cool in the 90s.
But regardless, I _really_ like Horse or Cycle. I liked them when they first started and were quieter folk rock. And l liked them when they added Sven Stens as a drummer and became significantly louder. Liam Cooney writes good songs and has a very distinctive voice- both sonically and lyrically. And it’s super fun to watch (Boca drummer) Ricky being all rock and roll with a cherry red bass and guitar shredding skillz. And Chris Ryan is always good in whatever band he’s in. So yeah, buy their album, kids.
Oh, and here’s something funny about the Boca Chica set. In between songs, there was a guy screaming his head off for us to play “Desolate Highway”. That was pretty funny because “Desolate Highway” was one of the first songs I ever wrote and I haven’t played it in years. Not one member of Boca Chica who was playing that night has ever even heard it. It was the first track off our now out-of-print self-titled EP (recorded around 1 mic in 1 take in someone’s living room on a rented 8 track). It’s a very slow, very repetitive 6 minute song and I decided to use it as our opening track just because I liked it and didn’t know any better. It’s interesting though, because it has this weird sort of following all on its own (I’m lookin’ at you screaming dreads guy. And you too, Caroline.)