Not too long ago, Martin Kennedy of All India Radio decided to get his old band Pray TV back together. Based on my lazy guesswork (pictures on social media), I thought this reunion was good for a gig or two. Wrong. The Kennedy brothers and company have unleashed Horizontal Life on an unsuspecting public, picking up in full force where they left off 20 years ago.
Outside of Australia, Pray TV had to fight to gain traction. Inside their homeland, they were My Bloody Valentine, the Catherine Wheel, and Joy Division all rolled into one — and then some. Some journalists made the confusing hyperbole that they were what you get when you combine the Church with Hüsker Dü. No matter where you find your comparisons landing, it’s clear that Horizontal Life is the sound of a band in a very good place — in step with one another, slightly out of fashion, eager but not struggling. They can brood and gaze at their shoes (“Couch Surfing”, “Promises Promises”) just as well as they can pop (“Punchdrunk”, “Shifting Sands”). And to think, this all just kind of rolled out of them after a few casual get-togethers.