Record review: Michael Rank and Stag's Horsehair | Record Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Record review: Michael Rank and Stag's Horsehair 


During "Husk," the gorgeous and surprisingly spry lament near the start of Michael Rank's new Horsehair, the singer admits something he hasn't exactly been keeping a secret: "My heart keeps chasing a wheel, and there ain't much end in sight." Horsehair is, in fact, Rank's fifth album-length examination in less than five years of a breakup that left him busted; the fallout has been the ballast for each of his shambolic Keith Richards-meets-Neil Young country-rock records.

But these nine songs—Rank's best set with his farrago collective, Stag—suggest he's not quite finished with the topic. From the exquisite, smoldering centerpiece "Trails" to the seven-minute, fade-away epic "This Side of Texas," these songs bristle at their own tenderness. Even as Rank empties his emotions against fiddles, mandolins and organs, and lets us know just how good life might have been, a mix of resentment, anger and abiding confusion broils beneath the surface. This feeling stems largely from his decision to sing with Mount Moriah's Heather McEntire for almost all of these songs. Not harmonizing with him so much as voicing the other side of the story, her expert country tone cuts deep into his emotional burl. McEntire puts Rank's feelings in sharp relief, suggesting that, even after five albums, the saga isn't over.

Label: Louds Hymn


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Record Review

Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Love it! All the songs are beautiful!

by Jon Champion on Record Review: The Return of The Veldt, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation, Is Great (Record Review)

This release will be available Friday December 4th here:

Thanks! …

by Scott Phillips on Review: The electronic excellence of GNØER's Tethers Down (Record Review)

You should have let Currin write this. One of the best singers on earth and these were your observations? sounds …

by Remo on Record review: Jeanne Jolly's A Place to Run (Record Review)


Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation