Horse Jumper Of Love feel like a band designed to be either loved or hated. Granted, that’s nothing terribly new with these sorts of low-slung indie-emo bands, but isolating this band in particular, there’s something about just how enclosed and unassuming they come across that makes the division even more stark.
Still, given that ’So Divine’ is their first album signed to Run To Cover, something must be clicking, but it’s honestly difficult to see what that is. As if the divide wasn’t highlighted enough, ’So Divine’’s general lack of motion or presence renders it a rather hollow listen, as Horse Jumper Of Love cycle through elements of indie-rock, dream-pop and indie-folk without much verve or drive. ’Airport’ and ’Volcano’ certainly serve as an early prelude with slow, quiet guitar leads and Dimitri Giannopoulos’ uncertain vocals, but it never really grows or evolves beyond those rather meagre foundations.
If nothing else, the whole thing seems like a momentous chore to get through; it’s not all that long of an album, but with dreadful pacing that wades through its tar-thick atmosphere that rarely culminates in anything meaningful, the whole thing bottoms out in record time. There’ll be an occasional highlight like the more wistful guitar and bass of ’Nature’, but this is a remarkably barren album on the whole, trailing off most of the time before it really even suitably gets going.
It culminates in a listen that rarely feels satisfying, and even when something does click, it’s hitting the bare minimum of what’s generally accepted for this brand of indie-rock. There’s remarkably little to say about it as a result, as it simply dissolves from the memory the moment any single song is over. And after all of that is said, the most memorable thing about Horse Jumper Of Love by a considerable margin is their name.
‘So Divine’ by Horse Jumper Of Love is out now on Run For Cover Records.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)