I think that there is one sentence that could terrify even the most musically open-minded people, actually anybody. It is a sentence that should also explain why this is quite a hard review to write without being unnecessarily coarse or sarcastic. The sentence? The Slow Horses are a German country band.
Yes they are. Now where do you start? Firstly I have to say that the cringing that I first experienced when I finally dared to put the CD into the player dissipated as I got through the first few songs.
By track three, Gaby Schmidt’s strangely un-German voice was starting to sound nice and the guitar of Marc Hothan on Slow Horses was sounding intricate. In fact a lot of the judging that I had done before I even listened started to feel unfounded, and unnecessary. It wasn’t as bad as it thought and certainly not as bad as it could have been.
Not so long ago I went to a country fair-cum-f�te. There were tractors and steam rollers, a big wheel and stalls selling Wellingtons. There was a ring where locals showed the crowd their dogs, and there was a stage. It was Country and Blues night, and no, the Slow Horses were not playing that night, but they could have been. That’s what they sound like.
German country will never have the heart and passion of real country music, because whatever you say, their not too distant history prevents it. It’s not in the psyche and it probably never will be. This is seen in the lyrics which are brilliant in their desire to be more than they are.
Examples? “Some hearts don’t get far, they burn out like a shooting star”. Or on Shelter they sing, “You wait for a never coming train / But life is just another ball and chain… There’s only one thing that will comfort you and just the pain will guide you through.” Not Shakespeare.
That said, this probably isn’t about the words, it’s music for drinking ale to at a county ball, and is harmless but enjoyable if it’s your thing. You could drink and dance all night but in the cold light of the sober day you’ll see the music for what it is.
David Hasselhoff is an icon in Germany (and not because of Knight Rider and Baywatch, but because of his music) so the country is obviously strange. For such a harsh square language, Move On has some touching moments but these are few and far between.
If you like Shania Twain and music of that ilk, be brave – the Slow Horses are, for they are a German country band!