Shit Horse's They Shit Horses, Don't They? | Record Review | Indy Week
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Shit Horse's They Shit Horses, Don't They? 

(Odessa Records)

If you're compelled to wince at Shit Horse on first glance, that's understandable. The band—three young, white rock musicians from Carrboro and Danny Mason, a black frontman two decades older than the band's youngest member—doesn't do itself many favors: They're called Shit Horse, of course, and the title of their debut cassette is a riff on the 1969 Jane Fonda film about a dance marathon. They have a theme song—"Shit Horse! Is Gonna Ride!," ad infinitum—and they prefer to present their songs via guerilla sets late at night on the streets of Orange County. Their lyrics are a wasteland of scatological and equine references. "Have you ever bitten off more than you could chew? Have you ever had a log you couldn't poo?," the track "Twelve Horses" concludes.

But don't pardon yourself too quickly. They Shit Horses, Don't They? is a collection of seven willfully weird, delightfully corroded Nuggets, each having more to do with defiance and dignity than shit and saddles. The 78-second "Get Out of My Face" is a whipsmart kiss-off. Mason barks at the way the world's been treating him, and the band chants his layman mantra between verses: "I see you every day/ You get into my face/ Won't you just go away/ This job would be pretty cool without you." "Floating/ Drifting" is a brooding builder, guitars, bass and drums slinking through a morass as Mason earnestly condemns some naysayer. The band ratchets the rhythm until they deliver Mason into a post-punk fistfight, his exasperated voice insisting that he won't be defeated. So, yeah, maybe Shit Horse is a gimmick with an attitude and a sense of humor for teenagers. But what else did you think rock 'n' roll promised?

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