Black Horses

Black Horses

Black Horses—the fifth studio solo album from former Swervedriver frontman Adam Franklin—reflects his deep love for film scores and soundtracks. The opening song, “Asha,” samples Bollywood starlet Asha Bhosle but carries trace elements of Swervedriver with a swirling maelstrom of post-shoegaze guitar noise and sublimely catchy melodies. “I Used to Live for Music” flirts with Ennio Morricone–inspired twang, the kind that used to pepper spaghetti western movies. But here Franklin’s confessional lyrics sing of losing his direction in the midst of adulthood. Franklin uses pieces of a Morricone-penned composition in “Passenger Train, Warped by the Rain” (which subtly recalls Swervedriver’s “Last Train to Satansville”). And in the airy “Boom!,” he shares writing credits with film composer John Berry. Franklin’s love for bygone soundtracks is more obvious in the selections where he eschews vocals altogether. In “Coda Code,” he lets gunslinger movie–inspired baritone guitar leads provide the melodies.

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