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Lock and Load 

Wednesday, Aug 22 2007
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It's not hard to find aesthetic similarities between Vancouver sextet They Shoot Horses Don't They? and the 1969 Jane Fonda vehicle of the same name. The film centers on Fonda and fellow townspeople desperately trying to win the cash prize at a Depression-era dance marathon. The event lasts days, with the final contestants dragging their partners along the boards past the limits of exhaustion and sanity. The British Columbia band's brand of blown-out oompah-core, seemingly born out of similarly sleepless frenzy, could be a perfect score for those scenes. Well known for pulling out the stops live, They Shoot Horses doesn't rely on cultivating dynamics as much as atom-smashing their influences into one propulsive, shambling sonic wave. Trademark horn stabs, cream-textured guitar sustain, and a vocalist barking through snot-filled sinuses make up the band’s arsenal, but it does have its more delicate moments. Some of the tracks on its new album, Pick up Sticks, resemble the brass-infused, frayed-folk tinges of Neutral Milk Hotel, if you can imagine that band going through a disco-era, powder-on-the-console phase.
Tue., Aug. 28, 9:30 p.m.

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John Garmon

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