Modern country seems to splinter into almost as many camps as metal music in some ways. On one side you have the traditionalist old time heritage sound; on another you have the folksier chapter who embrace lyrical depth and musicality. There is also the area of the genre that embrace a far more mainstream sound, using country’s down home lyrical topics yet openly embracing modern pop trope’s to appeal to a wider audience. Nashville’s own A Thousand Horses fall into the latter domain, and on EP Bridges, they draw on widely used aspects of both southern rock and country in an attempt to put their stamp on an already overflowing segment of American music.
Blaze of Something attempts earnest with galloping acoustics and lyrical clichés about leaving your mark on the world. The song reaches it’s apex on its larger than life chorus with vocalist Michael Hobby’s southern drawl packing enough of a punch to resonate with whiskey soaked fans of the genre.
Honestly speaking, there really is nothing fundamentally wrong with the above track or in fact many of the other’s on display here – Weekends In A Small Town swings with its lilting country soul and the blissed out title track could fit comfortably in the Top 40 – it’s more a feeling that music of this ilk is being produced in such vast quantities at this moment in time, that despite momentary popularity, this is not country music that will remembered alongside the heavyweights of the genre.
Despite its ‘moulded for chart success but not longevity’ sound, Bridges works as a record that facilitates the band with the music they need for their reputable and noteworthy live shows. It’s stomping southern charm and ultra-relatable lyrics will no doubt appeal to many show-goers and in that light Bridges, as well as previous release Southernality, can be seen as solid selling points for the real action.
At its best Bridges makes the most of its player talents to produce a fun if somewhat unoriginal take on southern fried country rock.
Bridges is out now