Hawkes Bay native Anthony Stretch has had a busy year – touring NZ repeatedly, opening for Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and releasing this confident debut album. A singer/songwriter in the alt-country ilk, his music infuses blues with a little bit of rock’n’roll into the mix, and the album starts off with the suitable roar of Less Rock More Roll. An Elvis-like stomper, it’s the polar opposite to sparse acoustic ballad Outside which later illustrates that Stretch knows when less makes more of an impact. The raucous, bar room group backing vocals on Can And Cannot Do are another example of how Stretch and his musicians have taken an over-familiar genre and given it a fresh twist. While ‘Bury All Horses’ is an album that could sound similar to many others in the genre (and occasionally does), passionate performances, spacious production, and melodic kinks elevate the music beyond the norm. Recorded at The Lab with Wayne Bell producing as well as drumming and adding keys, this polished, good-sounding album proves an exercise in spontaneous musicianship – from a talented writer whose career should go from strength to strength.