Is this future of Lounge Music? That noodly, jazz derived sound, completely non-danceable yet ignorable stuff that’s mostly for backing up an evening of too many martinis in an overpriced bar. There’s always a place for this sound, but recent years have seen the return of Cocktail Culture, and Horse Noodles is the sort of band that seems to have progressed musically as we ourselves have aged. What’s in here? A one man band it seems, multitracking and looping brass, and drums and electronic theremin-inspired sounds, with occasional digital horse sounds thrown in for good measure. Cool jazz, Herb Alpert, Chuck Mangione, all bits of sound I think I hear, all making up a textual blanket that grows with extended listening. Extended drinkin’ makes the experience even more true to life, but please have a designated driver.
Vocals? Well, vocals never hurt. But please don’t get carried away here, a few choruses of “put your hands up in the air” are deep enough for this album – after all, we’re looking for atmosphere here, not revolutionary music. Little mewing sounds appear, rhythms come and go, trance inducing loops and whale calls converge, convincing you to put away the glow sticks. This is not for the ecstasy-based trance dance club, but the smoky bar, with women who look better here than outside, men with gambling problems and a bartender who knows the difference between a Gibson and a Manhattan.
Here’s mud in your eye.