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They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

Who? Vancouver’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, currently touring North America with Shapes and Sizes, features Bruce (drums), Chris (keyboards), Ryan (saxophone), Pietro (trombone), Robb (bass), and Nut Brown (vocals/guitar). On Pick Up Sticks, their second studio effort for Kill Rock Stars, this bizarro rock collective mans various music makers, and even the occasional piece of vinyl siding for post punk-tinged, marching band-inspired shenanigans.

What’s the Deal? Sharing the name of a 1969 film wherein contestants endure a grueling dance marathon, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? craft oddly danceable songs that combine the sound of a circus with a bombastic punk aesthetic, and lite avant garde threads for an affair worthy of Barnum and Bailey’s three-rings. Pick Up Sticks is full of indie pop tunes dressed to the nines with beating horns (“The Guest”), tinny guitar riffs (“One Last Final Push”), and ranting harmonies (“Wrong Directions”) — it’s an exuberant, gypsy-like, folk-tastic cacophony for fans of early Modest Mouse, XTC, and Mr. Bungle.

Fun Fact: While on tour, the band has a policy to play any given CD in the van (a 15-seater) only once. How’s that for equal opportunity?

Now Hear This:
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? – “That’s a Good Question” DOWNLOAD MP3

Now Watch This:
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? – “Speck of Dust” QUICKTIME

On the Web:
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? at MySpace

Talk: Do you want to ‘shoot’ these horses? Or are they worth the stable space?

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