There are no surprises on The Dark Won’t Hide You, the debut by Los Angeles quintet Night Horse. They are a rock ‘n’ roll band playing meat-and-potatoes rock ‘n’ roll for guys with long hair and jean jackets. They are what Los Angeles rock sounded like when Will Bruce got off the bus from Indiana and before Britney was the biggest star in town. They ditch novelty in favor of pounding our skulls with guitar, drums, bass and swagger.
The ultimate question with The Dark Won’t Hide You, and Night Horse in general, is whether there is a pressing need to revisit rock ‘n’ roll’s history in this manner. The library hasn’t been burned; the classics are readily available. It’s commendable that Night Horse chooses to follow its muse rather than seeking widespread marketability, but they have essentially set themselves up in a no-win situation. Every track is competently played and well sung by Sam James Velde, but these aren’t new classics. By shunning innovation, the members have invited direct comparison to the bands that inspired them. And in that contest, they really couldn’t hope to compete.