Live Review: Horse Jumper of Love at The Sydney…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , — @ 9:48 am May 13, 2024
Horse Jumper of Love at The Sydney, May 12, 2024.

by Tim McMahan,

After last night’s Horse Jumper of Love show at The Sydney, it made perfect sense why the band selected Old Ramon by Red House Painters as their favorite album. 

Horse Jumper of Love has a similar overcast, mid-tempo, slowcore style as RHP and frontman/guitarist Dimitri Giannopoulos even has a Kozelek-esque voice. And while both bands’ music is wonderfully moody, unlike RHP songs that can go on for eight minutes or more, HJoL’s songs quickly get to the point – three times through and out. 

Their first time in Omaha, Giannopoulos squinted through most of the set. “We’ve been in the van for a long time and these lights are very bright,” he said. The crowd of around 40 didn’t mind, clearly mesmerized by the low-key splendor. 

I’ve only recently been introduced to this band because of this tour date, so I’m not familiar with many song titles. Not that it would have mattered as Giannopoulos said they were playing a number of new songs last night. I did recognize slower, gorgeous versions of the title song from 2023’s Heartbreak Rules album and “Spaceman” from their self-titled 2017 debut.

The band held a quiet intensity throughout the 30-minute set, and I was reminded of the great, dreamy, post-rock bands I grew up listening to, like Bedhead, Low, Sun Kil Moon and Mark Eitzel/American Music Club. Last night’s Horse Jumper set fit right in, though their recordings are typically more upbeat (and faster). Who can blame them for sounding so lonely – after all, it had been raining all day, and they were in that van for a long time.

The Dirts at The Sydney, May 12, 2024.

I caught most of The Dirts’ opening set sitting back in one of the broken booths by the front door, and thought to myself, ‘these folks may be onto something if they can get their vocals figured out.’ Once again, whether it was the frontman or one of the women singing, the vocals were lost/buried in amidst the chiming guitars. But maybe that’s how they want it…

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