Lost Classics: Rollerskate Skinny “Horsedrawn Wishes”

tapem200bThey’re nobody’s buzz bands anymore. But since 1993, MAGNET has discovered and documented more great music than memory will allow. The groups may have broken up or the albums may be out of print, but this time, history is written by the losers. Here are some of the finest albums that time forgot but we remembered in issue #75, plus all-new additions to our list of Lost Classics.

:: ROLLERSKATE SKINNY
Horsedrawn Wishes // Warner Bros., 1996

rollerskateskinny390For a band named after a phrase in The Catcher In The Rye and featuring percussion from the younger brother of My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields—in other words, cultural references that might’ve forgiven the Dublin group the usual fortnight at the top of the pops, only to sink forever from view, Rollerskate Skinny’s handiwork has aged remarkably well. Constant press references to MBV forced Jimi Shields’ departure by the time of sophomore LP Horsedrawn Wishes. Like the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev, the album contained meticulously constructed, extraordinarily druggy to-and-fro (the liner notes credited each band member with “orchestration”), with guitars of every shape and size poking through every available surface, its pacing a testament to a lysergic imagination.

Catching Up: Since splitting in 1997, all the Skinnies have remained in music. Frontman Ken Griffin moved to New York, released 1999’s Dead City Sunbeams as Kid Silver and formed Favourite Sons (with ex-MAGNET intern Matt Werth) in 2004. Guitarist Ger Griffin (no relation to Ken) and bassist Stephen Murray teamed up in Walker; Murray now leads the Radio, while Griffin records as Super Electric. Shields founded the Chicago-based Lotus Crown and, later, the NYC-based Wounded Knees.

“Speed To My Side”:

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3 Comments

  1. roarvis
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    This album still sounds brilliant today. These guys were ahead of their time, and they need to reform and play some shows in the U.S.

  2. moss
    Posted May 16, 2009 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    In the last 12 years I’ve been consistently coming back to Horsedrawn Wishes, always surprised to verify its endurance. It’s a bit overproduced, but that may be the core element of its appeal, it sounds unreal hence timeless. A perfect example of this is Ribbon Fat.

  3. Mike
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    Without question, one of the top five albums ever made…