Album Review: The Horse Traders – I Don’t Mind
It’s always a strange experience to put on an album for a band that you have never listened to before and be instantly hit with all kinds of nostalgia. The most recent release to do this is the sophomore EP, I Don’t Mind, from West Virginia quartet, The Horse Traders.
The album’s opening and title track transported me back to the late 90’s when I had The Wallflowers’ Bringing Down the Horse playing non-stop through the headphones of my newly acquired Discman. Like The Wallflowers, The Horse Traders take a classic genre and add in some modern rock and pop to help make it feel new. The simple guitars and beautiful vocal harmonies on the chorus of “I Don’t Mind” are probably what make this track feel so familiar to me.
I’m not a huge country music fan though I have noticed my taste in folk has gotten me to embrace the genre a little more. “Hey Carolina” inches me just a little closer still as I can’t seem to resist the pull of the opening guitars that have a bit of a Velvet Underground “Pale Blue Eyes” feel before the first verse comes in. Like my favorite Velvet Underground song, “Hey Carolina” has a wonderful ambling pace to it which is perfect for a late night summer drive.
Though I enjoyed the first two tracks of I Don’t Mind, it was the EP’s third track that really hooked me. If you’ve been following the blog at all, you know I’m a sucker for a good ballad and “Mark Twain” hits in all the right places from the steel guitar to Patrick Stanley’s soulful vocals.
The Horse Traders close things out on a high note with “Even Mountains Can Fall,” nailing that country fried southern rock sound perfectly. While the rest of the EP feels like it’s the perfect soundtrack to a night time drive or chill bonfire, “Even Mountains Can Fall” should be on every summer party playlist.
The Horse Traders manage to craft a short but sweet EP that shows a lot of diversity throughout the four tracks. Not to mention, a song that fits every memorable summer moment. I may not ever be a real country fan, but The Horse Traders help get me a little closer.