Horse Lords – Interventions (Northern Spy Records, April 29, 2016)

One of the greatest album I listened into the last period. ‘Interventions’ it’s the third album by Baltimora experimental math-rock quartet Horse Lords and it was out last April via Northern Spy Records.
There’re many influences into this album that in a certain way it’s the zenit reached by this band since their self-titled debut in 2012 (Ehse Records). In practice a quartet formed by guitar, bass, drums, alto saxophone, the music of Horse Lords it is going to be configurated as an episode of muscular minimalism borrowing elements and sounds from Mauritanian guitar music, free acid jazz and the ethernal point of referent of the no-wave. Thinking ‘bout a band of the past, I would probably make a comparison between them and the This Heat, the art-rock and post-punk group from South London which mixing industrial and noise with expressionism and the art of ‘cut & paste’ and adopering a lot of loops, realised in 1979 their self-titled album and one of the most influential of that period.
horseBut inside this album there’s more than art-rock and ‘cut & paste’. First of all, the evidence of a certain guitarism from West Africa are something you will catch since from the first track, ‘Truthers’, and possibly more into the nine minutes long tribalistic session of ‘Toward the Omega Point’. In both of the tracks, the sound of the guitar and the groove of the rhythm pay homage to a band like Tinariwen and all those kind of evocative and tripping sonorities. Other tracks are evidently episodes of math-rock (‘Encounter I /Transfinite Flow’) or/and concrete musique (‘Intervention I – II and II’), they’re of course devoted to the avant-gard artist La Monte Young, minimalist compositions fuzzed with electronic components and where the use of the saxophone alto also reminds to same episodes of the discography of the San Francisco new wave group Tuxedomoon. ‘Time Slip’ it’s a short kraut session in the style of Faust, while the band seems perfectly in its own dimension in episodes or art-rock and noise music like ‘Bending to the Lash’, that would probably be appreciated also by who is into the much experimental episodes of progressive music.

horse2 It’s a great album and an interesting one also in a conceptual sense. Listening to, since from the beginning, you couldn’t not recognize the West Africa sign into the main conceptual vision of the music of the band, but the concept it is improved with an ideal trip in time and space, where these ancient traditions, firstly than they became what it is actually the blues music and than the rock’n’roll, meet avant-garde and concrete musique becoming so in a certain way, ‘sophisticated music’. An expression I generally dislike but that this time really fits to the sonorities of the album that is appearently complicated and in a certain sense of course it is – the quartet: Andrew Bernstein (saxophone/percussion), Max Eilbacher (bass/electronics), Owen Gardner (guitar), and Sam Haberman (drums), it is actually composed by really good musicians with good technical skills as well as a weird rock and roll attitude – but follogling simply your instincts, and moving yourself at the time of the music, you finally will not consider it and be overwelmhed by the groovy rhytm of its music.

 Vote: 8/10
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