Any time a band draws comparisons to the likes of “Let It Bleed”-era Stones, Deer Tick, The Flying Burrito Brothers and The Hold Steady, you better believe I’ll be ready to drop just about everything to check them out. Such is the case with Big Apple-based five-piece Mail the Horse, who seem poised to raise their profile considerably with the release of new full-length “Planet Gates.”
The band’s “Great Kills” debut came and went with little fanfare in 2012, but the lads really come into their own on this remarkable 11-track release. Michael Hesslein, Michael “Donny” Amidon, Brendan Smith, William Lawrence and Chris May are on top of their game throughout a universally enjoyable release that has no real weak links.
From the opening tandem of “Best I Can” and “Holy Motel Magic” to standout entries “Wasted Sex,” “Fool the Fire,” “Drink Your Health,” “Shallow Water” and “All the Lights,” Mail the Horse carry themselves with a confident twang-infused swagger. I can’t wait for this talented quintet to make a tour stop in Pittsburgh. I bet they’re even more impressive in a live setting. (Jeffrey Sisk)