Mr. Ed’s Got Skills
Alright, we all know that old childhood adage: â€šÃ„ÃºNever judge a book by its cover.â€šÃ„Ã¹ School told us so, our mommas told us so, hell, even “Full House” told us so. But being the judgmental jerk that I am, Iâ€šÃ„Ã´ve been putting off listening to the new Horse Noodles record for a plethora of reasons. First, the name: Horse Noodles? Then again, the man behind the moniker is named Horace Noonkowics so Iâ€šÃ„Ã´m not sure which one sounds better (or worse). Second, the cover art: Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s basically Mr. Edâ€šÃ„Ã´s head superimposed on a black and white checkered background. And finally, my experience with the last album I reviewed off the Lunatic Works label (see Tha Fruitbat).Blame it on my low expectations, but Horse Noodlesâ€šÃ„Ã´ eponymous debut isnâ€šÃ„Ã´t half bad. Iâ€šÃ„Ã´m not exactly sure what I was expecting, but the albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s mix of danceable percussion, house, trip-hop, and acid-jazz had me refraining from hitting the â€šÃ„Ãºstopâ€šÃ„Ã¹ button. The first three tracks are sophisticated, yet chaotic, jazzy ditties chill at one moment, exploding with horns the next (especially â€šÃ„ÃºSpecial Agent Noodles Reporting for Dutyâ€šÃ„Ã¹). A groovy house tune complete with a â€šÃ„Ãºput your hands up in the airâ€šÃ„Ã¹ loop, â€šÃ„ÃºDisco Eleganteâ€šÃ„Ã¹ lives up to its name. â€šÃ„ÃºHave a Cigarâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is an eerily playful song reminiscent of Wagon Christâ€šÃ„Ã´s (aka Luke Vibert) Tally Ho. Midway through the album however, the recordâ€šÃ„Ã´s intensity and jazziness lets up. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s not bad, itâ€šÃ„Ã´s just not what hooked you at the beginning. If you consider the first 6 tracks the â€šÃ„Ãºparty,â€šÃ„Ã¹ then call the next 7 â€šÃ„Ãºthe drive home.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Nonetheless, Horse Noodles is a fair, if not solid, release.