In the grand scheme of things, I rarely give indie rock/pop music the time of day. That is because most music is bland, repetitive and lacks originality. Having been offered the opportunity to listen to the new album by The Rescues, I thought I’d broaden my horizons a bit. As most readers know, I gravitate between heavy metal and classical music.
Kyler England, Rob Giles, Adrianne Gonzalez, and Gabriel Mann formed The Rescues while performing on the singer-songwriter circuit of L.A in 2008 after a mutual friend suggested they collaborate with each other. Once the quartet joined forces, the group focused on writing music. Prior to the releasing the band’s album, The Rescues had already been featured on TV shows like One Tree Hill, Private Practice, and Grey’s Anatomy. Considering I don’t watch any of these shows and hadn’t heard of the group until the music came to my inbox, I listened to the band’s music with a fresh vantage point.
Let Loose the Horses, the debut album by The Rescues is what I’ve come to expect from an indie rock group. Ear-friendly songs with simple melodies and harmonies comprise the majority of the album. I generally prefer arrangements that are a little more varied and complex. Despite the simplicity of the music, lyrics that tell the story of humanity’s resilience carry the album.
The album starts off with the title track, which was inspired after England’s brother and his wife were forced to evacuate their home on a horse ranch in Colorado due to a brush fire. To save the animals’ lives, the gates were opened so that the horses could run free to safety. This also served as source of inspiration for the remainder of the album.
The Rescues asked themselves, “What would happen if you lost everything except for each other?” “Let Loose the Horses” sets the tone for the rest of the album, which thoughtfully explores the crossroads where hope and peril meet. “In our music, there’s a balance between dark and light, tension, and resolution,” Gonzalez says.
Optimism is a key theme of Let Loose the Horses. From the emotional uncertainty caused by chaotic moments of life, people still hope for the best even while trudging through tough times. After a traumatic event, there is a flurry of varying thoughts and emotions that change between positive and negative.
After setting the stage with the title track, “Start A Riot” follows, which taps into the emotional rage that follows a negative, life-altering event. The obviously themed “We’re OK” follows suggesting that hope persists after the feeling anger and rage. There is a back and forth between dark, dreary songs balanced with light, uplifting songs throughout the album. What is interesting about The Rescues is how the group alternates between the male and female vocalists, which helps to keep the music interesting.
The songs that I thought were more interesting include “Never Too Late”, “Follow Me Back into the Sun”, “Stranger Keeper”, and the title track. These songs had the most varied musical elements that kept my attention and interest.
The one song I just didn’t care for is “Can’t Stand the Rain”. It just seemed out of character and the intro is irritating.
Let Loose the Horses is a good debut album that won’t overwhelm anyone with a particularly unique sound, but will keep a listener’s attention with simple melodies and heartfelt lyrics.