Buried Horses – Tempest

January 01, 1970





If we wanted to be uncharitable about it, we could call Tempest, the latest LP from Buried
Horses, a Drones tribute. Certainly the Melbourne
quintet shares a similar aesthetic, wielding the same intricate blend of rootsy
storytelling surrealism with vaguely melodic guitar skronk, like Steve Earle
filtered through the Birthday Party. The Horses even share the same sense of
dynamics as their countryfolk, moving from lazy lope to frenzied pound so
casually you almost don’t notice it’s happened until you’ve got blood on your


Guitarists Jim and Tom Westmore may not sing, but they have
the same familial musical bond as the Everly Brothers, their six-string scree
wrapped up so tightly in on itself as to be one voice. Singer Mark Berry hasn’t
the darkly acrid charisma of his Drones counterpart Gareth Liddard, but he’s
got a friendlier cast to his vocals that make his performances easier to cozy
up to. Outside of a gimmicky cover of the Western standard “Ghost Riders in the
Sky,” the songs work beautifully with the band’s sonic artistry – rambling,
eccentric tunes like “Maiden’s Locker” and “For the Birds” never let the
obvious care put into their craft get in the way of a good ramshackle fall off
the wagon. The most important aspect of the Drones experience Buried Horses
share is that their work grows in stature and appreciation, as the songs reveal
new things with every spin. All of which is to say that, familiarity aside, Tempest is powerfully effective. Funny
thing, that – as derivative as you might think Buried Horses are, they’re
simply too good to deny.


the Birds,” “Maiden’s Locker,” “Tattoo & the Lash” MICHAEL TOLAND

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