HORSE FEATHERS

Ap­pre­ci­a­tion 8/10

UNCUT - - New Albums - terrY staUNtON

Ca­reer-high col­lec­tion from Ore­gon na­tives

Six al­bums in and Portland folk-rock­ers Horse Feathers have found their way to a much richer, more con­fi­dent sound, mar­ry­ing South­ern soul grooves and rough-hewn Amer­i­cana to Paul Si­mon elo­quence. Lead track “With­out Ap­plause” bounces along like a for­got­ten John Fogerty clas­sic, and there’s deep tes­ti­fy­ing driv­ing the shuf­fle-beat bal­lad “Best To Leave” and the Cooder-friendly wide open spa­ces of “Fault­line Wall”. Cen­tral to the pleas­ing shifts and twists in tone is the plain­tive but pow­er­ful voice of Justin Rin­gle, a for­mi­da­ble weapon that oc­ca­sion­ally sug­gests Marvin Gaye trans­planted to a rus­tic back­wa­ter, em­bel­lished by tra­di­tional vi­olin and banjo mo­tifs.

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