Horse Lords – The Common Task LP (Northern Spy Records)


The Common Task is a brand new album by Horse Lords, a very creative group of musicians coming from Baltimore, Maryland. The quartet has started its musical voyage in 2010, and so far has released numerous amount of excellent full-length recordings, such as a Horse Lords LP in 2012, Hidden Cities LP in 2014, Interventions LP in 2016, and four cassette editions of recorded sessions under the Mixtape series from 2012 till 2017. The band has also published a split release with Lower Dens as part of Less Artists More Condos series in 2013, and an extended play simplistically entitled Truthers in 2016. Their last recording was a collection of first three mixtapes called C-75 that has been published by the band in 2018. After two years of rehearsing, performing composing, and recording, Horse Lords made a comeback with The Common Task, a giant sonic slab separated in five very distinctive compositions. The album gradually commences with repetitious noisy chords of Fanfare For Effective Freedom, which have been penetrated by asynchronous rhythmical maneuvers. These weird chord progressions are transitioning into slightly distorted noise rock arpeggios that have been textured by polyphonic modular synthesis. These polyphonic modular synths showcase cleverly arranged Applachian and African themed melodies performed through arcane tunings. Fanfare for Effective Freedom serves as a remarkable overture to the rest of the presented recordings. Against Gravity provides a post-punk outlook at experimental aesthetics of Horse Lords. The composition commences with static drone sound performed on saxophone, while the guitars are bursting somewhere in the center with another serving of noisy arpeggios. The rest of the group adds up enormously detailed Arabic textures and scales, once again performed through a full specter of different approaches. Against Gravity possesses marvelous repetitious melodies that sound chaotic, hypnotic and danceable at the same time. The composition experiences crescendo in the singular uplifting sonic wall that transforms itself into the pleasant sound of Scottish bagpipes. This cataclysmic transition also serves as an ideal overture for The Radiant City, the third number of this astounding record. The Radiant City breaks into the aesthetics of minimal noise experimentations by using bagpipes as a sampled sound source. It implements a sonic barrier that separates the record in half and equips the audience for the following partition of The Common Task. People’s Park reaches the fundamentals of art-punk, post-punk, and krautrock through repetitive harmonizations and subtle keyboard orchestrations. This remarkable composition illustrates the eighties art-punk scene in every possible way, and Horse Lords are marvelously covering the aforementioned aesthetics through exceptional musicianship. However, the group goes even further with experimentations with Integral Accident, the longevous number decorated with a delicate ambient introduction. Like the remaining portion of the material, this number also includes a closer multidisciplinary approach to various musical aesthetics these skillful musicians have been inspired with. Perhaps Integral Accident resembles a progressive rock odyssey in some manner, but Horse Lords somehow manage to once again bend all the possible postulates of the genre and add dozen of innovations into the core. The sound is even more experimental, repetitious, hypnotic, texturized, and complex as the number reaches its closure. There are literally piles of thoughtfully arranged layers of pleasant ambiance, remarkable melodies, disturbing textures, notable uplifting moments, and all of a sudden, these elements are approaching the inevitable cacophonic crescendo that fades in a singular tone. Horse Lords outstand themselves with every new recording, and The Common Task proves they’re improving themselves as musicians as the time goes by. The Common Task comes on black vinyl, compact disc, and at all streaming services. This exceptional material has been published by Northern Spy Records.


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