Label: Fantastic Plastic Records Release date: 18 January 2010 Race Horses MySpace On their Goodbye Falkenburg, debut album, Welsh wonders Race Horses manage to pull quite a few surprises, something you'd expect more on and third or fourth album. Sadly, you also get some of the experimentation that goes right or wrong in less than a note, but let's not get ahead of ourselves now. Opening track 'Man in my mind' starts with an atmospheric sound before devolving into your regular indie fare with a recurring use of a sound that bears some striking similarities to Nokia's annoying ringtone. So far, it's okay. Then comes 'Cake', which was their first single. This is a fine song to illustrate how Race Horses' lyrics are “quirky”, but still packing some punch. And hey, who doesn't like cake or secretly wishes to get transmogrified into a pony, uh? They do have a lot of ambition and while it is reached a few times, there's a few missteps, like the “we are only amusing ourselves” 'Disco pig'. Fair enough, the album does boast a few corkers, so we'll let them indulge into a few less-than-stellar choices, even if it's hard not to get floored by the one-two punch of the aforementioned 'Disco pig' and the reprise of 'Man in my mind/in a party near you'. In fact, the self-indulging does provide us with some small experimentation - which yields good results. Let's take the instrumental 'Intergalatic space rebellion', a great tune that wouldn't be out of place in a film with rayguns, people in funny vinyl clothes and UFOs hanging from bits of string. 'Cacen magmu' is another track that goes experimental, perhaps a bit too much. There's a very strange interval where every trick in the book is thrown in the way : Crescendos! Reversed audio! Yelling in Welsh! Your mileage may vary on this one, but if you don't feel 'Voyage to St. Louiscious' is a breathe of fresh air in today's current musical scene, you need to get your pulse checked. On a technical level, it's refreshing to hear a band that hasn't fallen to the dark side of the loudness war, as it sounds quite more organic than a slew of recent releases. It must be their allergy to pro-tools. 'Captain Penelope Smith', an amazing gem of a track, feels like that number Sideshow Bob sings on the Simpsons, you know the one, very Gilbert & Sullivan and it's the stepping stone for the cherry on top album closer, 'Marged wedi blino'. In closing, a great album. Rating 8/10