Horse Thief
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Horse Thief

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States | SELF

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States | SELF
Band Folk Rock




"Horse Thief Captures a Wide-Open Mood and Runs With It"

Matt Carney and I are doing a collaborative best-of list for OKSee, the blog that we each ran for half the year. It’s going to be awesome, and I’ll post a link when it happens.

Horse Thief‘s Grow Deep, Grow Wild appeared in our conversation, and Matt exhorted me to check it out. Matt shares my love of LCD Soundsystem and has rocked out to Colourmusic’s “Yes!” in a moving vehicle with me, so I trust his judgment. His judgment was in fine form when he recommended this album to me.

Grow Deep, Grow Wild is one of that rare class of albums that appropriates a specific feel as opposed to a specific genre. I suppose it’s vaguely indie-rock/alt-countryish, but what it really sounds like is the beginning of a road trip across the Midwest. The music is wide-open and spacious, and the energy bubbles just below the surface.

Opener “Colors” sets the mood with Springsteen-esque drums, foundational organ, distant background vocals, and rattling guitars in the chorus. The whole arrangement is held together by an affected, unusual vocal tone. The song comes together brilliantly, setting the rest of the album on a course that it rarely deviates from. Think or the Walkmen if they toned down the brittle guitar distortion, or Kings of Leon if the sheen of Only By the Night had a lot more country in it. I know I just repped a band with maximum cred and no cred back-to-back, but it is what it is.

The complete control of a very specific mood is the album’s strength and weakness. The call-and-response vocal delivery of “Warrior (Oklahoma)” is one of the few tracks that sticks out in the album, because the rest of the tunes feel like movements of one greater suite. The relatively small number of instruments used contributes to this sameness; I would love to see Horse Thief experiment with other sounds more extensively in the future. The one extremely memorable break from this is “Down By The River,” which busts out Walkmen-like horns to great effect. But to Horse Thief’s credit, there are no downside tracks: this is a totally enveloping atmosphere.

I’ve mentioned the Walkmen several times, and I’m going to do it again: if you’re down with Lisbon, you really should check Grow Deep, Grow Wild out. Horse Thief’s wide-open plains intensity is the Oklahoman answer to the aforementioned’s Brooklynite yowl. The album drops today, so if you’re in Oklahoma, head out to ACM@UCO and hear it, as well as the all-star supporting line-up of The Non, Deerpeople and Feathered Rabbit (all of whom are dear to my heart). - Stephen Carradini of

"Horse Thief: The Next Kings of Leon?"

Originally from Flower Mound, Texas, but now based in Oklahoma City, Horse Thief has been wowing audiences south of America’s Manson-Nixon line with rock that’s as much psycho as psychedelic. They’ve been described as the ‘next Kings of Leon’ – another Oklahoma band – but after electrifying perfomances at 35 Conferette and this year’s SXSW festival, they’ve earned a cadre of their own fanatical fans across the country. Horse Thief’s songs are edgy and emotionally compelling. ‘It’s about losing yourself in the sound and creating an experience that sticks with you long after the show is over’, says frontman Cameron Neal. Australian audiences will be able to judge for themselves with the imminent release of Horse Thief’s debut album, Grow Deep, Grow Wild. - Cheyenne Tulsa of

"Horse Thief — Grow Deep, Grow Wild Review"

Local psych-rock outfit Horse Thief’s first album, “Grow Deep, Grow Wild,” blasts open with a Gothic church organ undercut by some very subtle guitar scratching for texture.

Singer and ACM@UCO student Cameron Neal’s voice soon joins the mix, completing the band’s go-to sound as some bizarre, wonderful, northwest-by-way-of-The Cure alt-rock act.
But if bands like Fleet Foxes and Blitzen Trapper write tunes that qualify as pastoral, then Horse Thief’s are best described as primal, full of lurking beasts and dark forests, as literal as they are metaphoric.

The group doesn’t shy away from writing long, murky songs that avoid easy classification. “Colors,” the aforementioned first track, is the longest, ringing up just shy of seven minutes’ worth of synth and vocal melodies buried within dense layers of organ and guitar. One moment, Neal’s mumbling about people not understanding him; the next, he’s singing about the sky, full-throated and languorous like Robert Smith.

It’s an awesome track, and the album’s remaining nine follow a similar blueprint, ranging from the marching dirge “Ann Walter” to a song about being a bear (“I Am the Bear”) a more subdued number about being a magician, titled — wait for it — “I Am the Magician.”

The latter two serve as great metaphors, but with such freaky music, one has to consider if Horse Thief really is a band of odd creatures. - Matt Carney of

"Horse Thief - Grow Deep, Grow Wild"

In a music world filled with indie bands churning out regurgitated drivel in hopes that some might mistake it for art, you can be certain that it's difficult, if not damn near impossible to find a band that's fresh, innovative, and that has a clear vision of who they are and who they intend to be. Let's face it; most bands all have the same shtick, following the same monotonous patterns in an oversaturated indie market that's yearning for something real. So much so that finding a band opposite to the aforementioned description is like finding a needle; not in a haystack, but in a huge, heaping mess of molasses. But once you find that needle, it becomes worth all the headache and drudgery that went into locating it and you can finally, for a little while at least, sit back and enjoy the fruits of a band's labor and appreciate the next hour of your life. And appreciate it you must, because these hours don't rear their head much anymore these days.

Horse Thief, a band relocated from Texas to attend the Academy of Contemporary Music at UCO has stated that before relocating, they took a trip to Creede, Colorado to write new material for what would become their debut record entitled Grow Deep, Grow Wild After listening to the record for several days, it's abundantly clear that Grow Deep, Grow Wild has a wild sense of theatricality about it. It's big, walloping and vast walls of sound project vivid imagery of lush forests and misty mountain air. Tracks such as the opener Colors and the mid-record track I Am The Bear envelop you to the point where you can almost smell the sap of the pine and hear twigs snapping beneath your feet as you dance throughout the majestic dreamscape that Horse Thief has created for you.
The opening track Colors sets out with ethereal keyboards and phlegmatic, calming strums of Cameron Neal's guitar as the song builds tension with each anticipatory note that passes and ultimately crescendos into the first verse with Neal singing I was watching all the colors flowing out there. Different order, I was right; you're getting older now. And the light seems bright inside my eyes. I hold on to all these rich and better times. The verses are seemingly hi-hat free which works to the songs advantage as you can tell when the chorus kicks in that Preston Greer's transition to his ride provides an airy, celestial vibe that works in perfect harmony with the choruses soaring melodies. The song hit's its high point when the proverbial roof is blown off and the band bursts into the sonically indulgent conclusion as Neal sings You will soon be rising up into the sky. Up into the sky followed by the lonesome melodies that brood finality to the track.

After Ann Waltzer, comes I Am The Bear, a track that offers a meaty dose of indie rock followed by a diversion into grandiose post rock territory. The track starts off with a liberal bass lick from Cody Fowler that allows Greer to join the rhythm induced euphoria that will ultimately peak mid song. The band weaves its way through verse and chorus and ends up hiking somewhere in Iceland with the melancholic tones seeping from Neal's guitar. Greer chimes in with a tasteful tom cadence that reaches for the stars and swells into an explosion of cymbals while the band heaves into a melodic wall of sound that bears an eerie resemblance to the band being the possible offspring of folk rockers Fleet Foxes and post rock aficionados Sigur Ros. Certainly a hybrid track that singlehandedly makes Horse Thief one of Oklahoma's most promising bands.

How could we do a review and not include a description of the track that most people and fans will know the band by for years to come? Almost seems wrong, doesn't it? The infectious track Warriors (Oklahoma) is undoubtedly the band's breakout song for folks that love a lighthearted dose of indie nostalgia. The track begins with what seems to be a distant indian chant followed by a superbly written genial folk riff that really sends the song off into what will become folklore in Oklahoma music. It's almost as if the track was written in anticipation for what the band knew would be a life altering decision to move to Oklahoma. And natives to Oklahoma can't help but feel proud when allowing the song and it's lyrics to send you off to the prairie plains with the winds enticing you to dance over the hills and sing right along with Neal as he exclaims I see the light come pushing through the dark in Oklahoma. Seeds start to grow where little life is known in Oklahoma. And time isn't real, it's an illusion that you feel in Oklahoma. And beauty can arise in the beauty of your mind in Oklahoma.
And while this band may be from Texas, Oklahoma sure is proud to have them reside here for just a little while and hopefully much longer than they anticipated. But if it's any indication of how much we love this record, it's a far cry from the plains that this band belongs to America, not just Oklahoma. And if you don't find anything else on this record, you will surely find a band that grew up in the midst of making it, maybe even grew a little deep and grew a little wild. All we can say is, welcome to Oklahoma fellas. - Houston Molinar of

"RTB2 / The Phuss / The Pretty Black Chains / The Tellevators at The Boiler Room"

For the first time in a long time, I was ready to go out long before I planned. What could possibly lure me from my cozy boudoir so fashionably early (besides cheap drink specials that always seem to end at 11)? I place the 'blame' squarely on The Tellevators, the first band to open for RTB2 Saturday night at The Boiler Room. I missed them when they played in Denton several months ago, and everyone who had been at the show gave nothing but rave reviews about the trio.

As is natural while listening to live music, I began to relate and compare their sound to other bands that I've heard. But the difference between most bands and bands like The Tellevators is that I could never truly relate them to one particular band or style. The first few songs were poppy, the lead singer playing bright synth lines reminiscent of The Beach Boys or Vampire Weekend. I was really impressed by the way the drummer lead the band's dynamic changes, and the way that he and the bass player kept in sync with one another. The bassist knew how to fill the space without cluttering the song, a rare and valuable talent for someone young enough to have black X's on their hands. When the lead singer picked up a guitar, the energy onstage increased from relaxed near-surf rock to a driving, pounding Built to Spill-style drone anthem. His voice moved easily from softly controlled to raw and exposed, reminding me of Thom Yorke or Alec Ounsworth. The echo effects made it sound like he was singing in a long hallway with hardwood floors and high ceilings, the sound spiraling up and away from his plaintive vocal chords and into my ears, remaining there long after they finished playing.
- My Denton Music


"Grow Deep, Grow Wild" (2013)



Horse Thief is a psychedelic folk rock band based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The band is formed of five guys who feel there’s a void in the music scene that needs to be filled.

“Our music is about more than just the songs we play. It’s about losing yourself in the sound and creating an experience that sticks with you long after the show is over,” says frontman Cameron Neal.

With Neal on vocals and guitar, Alberto Roubert on drums, Cody Fowler on bass, Zach Zeller on keys, and Alex Coleman on guitar, an experience is what you get when seeing Horse Thief live.

Horse Thief will soon be releasing their debut EP entitled "Grow Deep, Grow Wild." Some songs on the EP, such as “I Am The Bear,” hint at influences like The Smiths, while others like the Oklahoma anthem, “Warrior,” draw upon the band’s raw folk tones with a taste of electric sounds.

The band decided to attend the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) in Oklahoma City. Before the start of school the band took a trip to Creede, Colorado to write new material before starting their new lives in Oklahoma. They discovered the name Horse Thief while looking at a map of local hiking trails and realized the name fit the free, folk feeling their music conveys.

With Horse Thief's raw vocals, hollow guitar swells, colossal bass, and mountainous drums, their music is making a lasting impact on people close and far.