Debut album from one of the most exciting young bands around, Race Horses take the best bits of '60s garage and psychedelia and mould them into their own brilliantly offbeat pop clatter.
There's no doubt that the words 'Animal', 'Furry' and 'Super' will pop into your head once you hear Race Horses' debut album – and the fact that the young quartet hail from the same country as Gruff Rhys and co. helps matters none, either.
Yet Race Horses are far from mere copyists of the Furries or any other band, for that matter. They may plunder the same well of psychedelia and '60s garage as their countrymen, but the Aberystwyth troupe have a very singular sound of their own, too. Unlike many of the dreary landfill bands churning out patronising, horribly affected indie-rock, it's clear that Race Horses have put thought, focus and importantly, imagination into their musical direction. Their songs, a lyrical mixture of English and Welsh, are sharp, sassy and mostly short tunes, packed with creative twists, turns and backing harmonies at every bend.
The foursome may keep one eye on the past – songs like 'Captain Penelope Smith' and 'Cacen Mamgu' are unabashed nods to The Beatles - but their zippy, ever-so-slightly bonkers tunes lend an air of futuristic originality to proceedings, too. See 'Cake', for starters; a big, bounding slice of completely addictive garage pop with a chorus so catchy it'll stay with you for weeks. The smile-inducing 'Pony''s peppy organ riff could be a companion piece to 'My Lovely Horse' ("I wanna be your pony / I wanna be your one and only") and sees lead singer Meilyr Jones hit the high notes beautifully, while 'Disco Pigs' offsets a rich, summery guitar riff with fiery Mariachi-style horns.
All in all, 'Goodbye Falkenberg' is an incredibly considered and accomplished record, not least because it's a debut. Instead of falling at the first hurdle, Race Horses have set themselves up for a career well worth having a flutter on. Brilliant.