If anything can be said about Horseback, it's that they've achieved the almost impossible; they've taken a form of music that is generally difficult to get into, and made it accessible and digestible, without compromising the heart & integrity behind the whole thing.
Ambient, psychedelic drone/noise-rock. Now, I'm not sure about you folks, but with tags like that, it generally means you're in for something laughably pretentious...Or I should say you lack the intellectual depth and capacity for abstract thought which is required to enjoy such music. Horseback don't seem to have any such pretensions. Half Blood has to be one of the most earthy, organic sounding albums ever recorded. It's simultaneously filthy & gentle. Soft, flowing riffs played through sour guitar tones. Throw some organs underneath, some buzzing black metal vocals on top, and you've got yourself a tasty mold sandwich.
Yeah, it's got those incredibly zonked-out ambient droners like "Inheritance (The Changeling)" or the Hallucigenia trilogy, but it's tastefully paired up with other tracks with more tangible guitar work, which make up the remainder of the album. In other words, Half Blood is an album that works on two levels; music for sober people, and music for people who have clearly taken too many drugs...Or people who want to feel like they've taken too many drugs.
With Half Blood, Horseback have shown that accessibility is not arbitrarily a negative thing. This is a very creative album that doesn't pander to you with any instant-gratification type gimmicks, while it also doesn't alienate with a strict regimen of pretentious time wasting. Dark, trippy and engaging is Half Blood in a nutshell.
This band got me interested in noise/drone when I bought a compilation a year or two ago. I definitely don't actively listen to the genre but I'll always check out new Horseback records. I remember one of the songs from this being posted in the 2012 rec. thread and I thought it was awesome. Your review makes me feel like that opinion won't change once I spend a good couple of days listening to the entire thing.
One more reason for me to hate my pc being broke! Glad to see they finally get proper recognition for their work. Only two more weeks and this will definetly be one of the first album I order if not the first.
Sweeeet. I didn't know this existed. More from Horseback this year is not bad at all. Their split with Pyramids is good, but maybe at times a little to drone I just end up spacing out.... maybe that's good.
Sadly i never gave this band a few spins, probably, i don't understand them really well. But being through some of their singles/records, they're just too good. My friend gave me their mix stuff ripped a CD in the union last year by saying "it's my goddamn favorite one band only! you just check this out" and opening their stuff for once I just forgotten what this band is all about? >> eventually that makes me keep it out of them. But dropping this bomb shell again, i will surely see now what they have to impress me.