Campo Bravo's Electric Jumping Horses is, like most Tucson records, a fascinating blend of characters that translates into good music. Mark Matos is one of those characters; he's lived all over the place, is Portuguese and--according to the Campo Bravo bio--unsuccessfully tried his hand at bullfighting.
Unlike bullfighting, Electric Jumping Horses is quiet, lo-fi and sleepy; the songs are sad but far from depressing. "Lonely Wind" is a straightforward, sad love song, floating slowly by on guitar chords and piano until an electric guitar kicks in and does all the kicking and screaming that the lyrics and the piano and the other guitar were holding back. "Faces and Wars" does a similar thing, except it's much more subtle; right after the chorus, the guitar does this little flourish and then the song picks up right where it left off, and there's more loneliness in that moment than in all of the lyrics.
The songs switch back and forth between country and folk and Matos' vocals have a Jeff Tweedy-esque distance to them; the whole record--which has some songs recorded by Matos, some by Nathan Sabatino, some by Dimitri Manos and Ryan Eggleston of Galactic Federation of Love and one by Camp Kirkland--sounds very loose and laid-back. The record's cast of characters includes Manos and Eggleston, and current Campo Bravo members Eric Schumeister (drums) and Brian Green (bass).