There are a number of things that can catch the attention of a music journalist. A good story, a big reputation, long and persistent press campaigns, can all lead to the surrender of precious editorial space. Other times, all it requires is a name. And with a name deriving from a Latin phrase that is a few steps down the line of mistranslation, Horse Jumper of Love is most certainly one that demands consideration. Grabbing attention, however, is merely the first step, and sometimes proves detrimental if the content contained does not match the promise of the outer shell. Thankfully, this Boston based three-piece, formed in 2013 by lead singer Dimitri Giannopoulos, have been steadily amassing a reputation for an engaging dual personality sound; one that simultaneously oversees unhurried and saccharine rock songs, whilst embracing a darker, altogether more staunch edge.
A second album proper, So Devine shows a band refine their previously lackadaisical indie-rock vibe and add a harder hitting edge whilst not completely overhauling an appealing aesthetic. ‘Poision’ carefully advances with melodic guitar work, drenched in sticky musical overtones, while ‘Airport’ thrashes to a cathartic close, following a drawn-out and emotive examination in Giannopoulos’ lyrics.
It’s a record full of undoubtedly deeply reflective songs, detailing seemingly conventional events. This, taken with Giannaopoulous’ mainly hushed vocal approach, means the newfound forthright instrumental work provides contrast, and offers significant emotional bolt, anchoring the record’s impact with an impassioned insistence. A record that lives up to the name… nearly.