File 4079


From Pitchfork:

Horse Lords make music with guitar, bass, drums, and sometimes saxophone, but you couldn't really call what they do rock music. Rock is just a small piece of the greater amalgamation—a simple-yet-complex affair that welds repetitive riffing in strange time signatures to microtonal harmonies that glint like flecks of mica. It might be tempting to call it math rock, but these aren't problems to be solved—they're patterns that unfold as if of their own accord. Maybe "biology rock" would be more apt. It's fluid, not angular, and instead of architecture, branches and rivers and spiraling sunflower heads feel like its analogues in the physical world.

The Baltimore band has released two albums up to this point, both of which alternate switchbacking studies in rhythm and drone with noisy, knotty studio experiments. They've also released three freeform "mixtapes" containing sidelong collages of full-throttle rave-ups, modular synth sketches, and live recordings whose audio fidelity suggests that they may have been recorded to a Dictaphone at the bottom of someone's gym bag.

Interventions marks a major step forward in every way: The jams are both more focused and more hypnotic, while the quality of the recordings has a newfound clarity and fullness that does wonders for the music. Guitarist Owen Gardner and bassist Max Eilbacher play instruments re-fretted according to the principles of just intonation, and their curious tuning—intermingled with saxophonist Andrew Bernstein's complementary bleat—yields an unusual and visceral sound. It's subtle, but you can feel it vibrating in the air all around you.