With a strong Northern lilt, Steve Malley AKA The Horse Loom, finger picks his way through eight bleak and barren landscapes – providing a raw, powerful and edgy narrative to an album of stories that will both haunt and hypnotise from the very first listen. The chord structures and melodies feel deep rooted in Medieval English folk-lore, feeling quintessentially English in their delivery too.
To compare The Horse Loom with other UK contemporaries wouldn’t necessarily do either a dis-service but there’s just something that little extra here that sets him apart from the current crowd. This is heartfelt and emotional – at times running off along a finger picking superhighway – way, way off into the blue where I imagine a heaving hulk of a man sits bleeding and sweating over a tortured, warped guitar – and all for the pure, unabated love of his craft; The odd rattle of a Top E as the vibration strikes the fretboard and the mic becoming ever more spit stained. You can’t keep the Punk kids down and the ferocity and conviction with which he delivers each song, along with the subtle use of dialect (which is incidental of course), all adds to the overall mystery and expert delivery of these storytellers tales.
This is beautiful music to move to and as I’m zipping through the English countryside between Yorkshire and London on a bright autumn afternoon, this is just the right sort of music to accompany the warm colours of the weathered countryside as the new season slowly starts to take hold. I’m hoping there’s more of this on the horizon soon.