An Horse singer Kate Cooper is a relentless whirlwind who doesn’t know when to stop – and that’s a good thing. On their second album, this Aussie duo’s buzzy guitar pop is more hyper and gripping than ever, as she breathlessly spews dramatic tales that have the immediacy of crazed Twitter posts. “My head is bleeding from banging it against this wall / What’s it all for?” Cooper sighs on the title track, then shouts, “Just please wake up!” at a hospitalized friend in “Brain on a Table.” She’s exhausting, but never dull.
SPIN MAGAZINE – Jon Young
An Horse may be grammatically challenged, but singer-guitarist Kate Cooper and drummer Damon Cox sure know how to re-purpose two generations of girl-powered indie pop. The Australian duo’s second disc recalls the trance-y college rock of Throwing Muses, the crisp strummings of Tegan and Sara, the Portlandia pump of Sleater-Kinney. Cooper’s emotionally shadowy lyrics burrow into the personal tensions we try to forget but can’t escape – from “Airport Death,” about a botched meet-cute while traveling, to “Swallow the Sea,” where her boyfriend’s bedroom becomes a watery tomb. “I could give you grief about the divide that I face every night,” she sings. And give she does, and gives and gives.
US ROLLING STONE – Jon Dolan
Cooper and Cox came out swinging on their full-length debut, 2009’s Rearrange Beds, notably with infectious songs like “Camp Out” and “Postcards.” Now, on the new Walls, An Horse continues to showcase meticulous teamwork, with Cooper’s quirky vocals and punk-inspired guitars blending seamlessly with Cox’s disciplined percussion.
In “Dressed Sharply,” the first single from Walls, Cooper sings of the everyday hardships inherent in a long-distance relationship — from the mundane (“I have nothing new to tell you”) to the more overtly frustrated (“You get up when I go to sleep / but that’s just me and geography”). Although there are only two players in An Horse, neither tries to overcompensate for it. Cox lends his vocals and fills the spaces that Cooper leaves empty. Cooper, on the other hand, is well equipped to do the rest. The result is unabashedly enjoyable indie-rock, enhanced by the evidence that Cooper and Cox are having a blast, too.
NPR MUSIC – Jess Gitner
As it stands, Walls is the essential Australian album from this side of 2011. It’s more than just a successful follow-up, or a defeater of Second Album Syndrome. Walls is a fascinating, brilliantly-written tale of love and loss that shrugs off cliches and sets up An Horse as one of indie rock’s must-hear bands, nationality regardless.
SPUTNIK - David James Young
Kate Cooper and Damon Cox have reached their first pinnacle on their second album, Walls. Part love letter and part soured relationship lament, Walls 12 songs run the gamut of the heart while balancing perfect pop with slightly anguished indie rock. Similar to Sleater-Kinney and Pinback in tone, An Horse create amazing texture with just two members. Cooper’s voice and lyrics are standouts, her soft-spoken delivery making “Brain on a Table” and “100 Whales” both uplifting and harrowing experiences.
AP MAGAZINE – Jason Schreurs
REARRANGE BEDS reviews
When singer-guitarist Kate Cooper — one half of Aussie indie-pop duo An Horse — tells her ex-love she’s going to “play it back in reverse,” she’s not kidding. With drummer Damon Cox, Cooper turns the band’s debut into relationship post-mortem, rehashing a split over fuzzed-out riffs, hummable hooks and snarling beats. “Postcards” is a romantic nostalgia trip; “Rearrange Beds” pushes raggedy riffs against “aches that sail like ships.” The agonized detail recalls the best of Nineties alt-rock; as Cooper says, “Like that good Hole album, I can live through this.”
US ROLLING STONE – Nicole Frehsee
Most of the tracks on Rearrange Beds build to anthemic choruses that practically beg for sing-alongs– and the scores of disaffected teens and twentysomethings required to sing them. And when you can turn your own moment of catharsis into somebody else’s, hey, you must be doing something right.
PITCHFORK.COM - Matthew Solarski
An Horse’s Rearrange Beds feels seamless, a nostalgic amalgam of muffed up guitars and plaintive vocals from Kate Cooper and deliberate, almost vituperative, rhythms from drummer Damon Cox. It’s classic power-pop gone grunge, a surprisingly complex illusion act they pull off easily.
MESS AND NOISE – JP Hammond
Kate Cooper’s tales of awkward, broken love and chronic miscommunication don’t seem ripe for selling sedans, but her reedy voice and zippy melodic guitar, plus drummer Damon Cox’s imperfect harmonies, keep things from getting too depressing. Clever/corny lines — “Like that good Hole album / I can live through this” — add levity, too.
SPIN MAGAZINE – Gabriel Boylan
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