Liberty Ashes

Horselover Fats

Northern Spy Records, 2016

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Horselover Fats hails from Brooklyn, New York, and like many underground outfits from that area, there is just nothing conventional about their approach. Their sound incorporates ambient textures, hypnotic droning and an obvious experimental approach. Though you may find their music filed under “alternative” or “indie” at the record store, simple labels like this really just do the outfit a grave disservice.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Side A, “Liberty Ashes,” is nearly 14 minutes of primal, unyielding drumming and biting guitar work, where sonically crushing sounds threaten to drill a hole directly into the recesses of your mind. At the halfway point, the noises become more scattered; the tune nearly veers into complete chaos before residing in, surprisingly, a point of melodic progressive rock. The surprises don't end there, as the track picks up the pace to a lightning fast frenzy, where a men's choir backs up the affair with angelic, soothing, distant singing.

Side B, “Aria For The Surveillance State,” is the inverse of Side A and even longer. It builds out from sparse synth prodding into a near sci-fi like adventure of exploration. At the breaking point, the track ignites with synthetic percussion that's both animated and calculated, eventually seguing into darker, post-punk territory. The back half of the tune brings in guitars and vocals, though the voices are used mostly to set a tone, as no discernible words are sung; these sounds blend together in an ambient, hazy, and unclassifiable experience.

Listening to this album is somewhere between an out-of-body, lucid experience and a religious awakening. Even though each side is around 14 minutes, the hypnotic, spellbinding quality of writing passes the time so as to make it seem like a fleeting journey you'll want to live again. It's iconoclastic from all angles, including the physical format it's available on (cassette), which is where most of my intrigue with Horselover Fats resides.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2018 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Northern Spy Records, and is used for informational purposes only.