The Promise Ring

Horse Latitudes

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Nestled between the emotionally terse 30 Degrees Everywhere and the pop explosion of Nothing Feels Good, this singles and unreleased songs compilation sees the Promise Ring in a number of different musical phases. The earliest material on the record, including "Watertown Plank" and the emo classic "A Picture Postcard," showcase the raw origins of the band and their early tendencies to couple meandering guitar notes with unbridled and distorted rock. "E. Texas Ave.," a fan favorite from the group's split 7" with Texas Is the Reason, is also a noteworthy inclusion, not to mention the toughest song the band has ever recorded. There are a few dawdling tracks on the record that don't do much of anything, but on the whole, this is a fine collection that clearly illustrates how this band came to reach their indie pop hitmaker status. There's a strong sense of melody that often surfaces from the tracks, and the closing horn bop of "I Never Trusted the Russians" is a clear indicator of where the band would take their sound in the period that followed this album. A must for the group's fans, The Horse Latitudes is also a pretty good listen for anyone looking for solid emotional rock that is just as good at keeping quiet as it is at blasting out the speakers.

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