Long-running, North Carolina-based experimental project HORSEBACK, helmed by Jenks Miller, has just shared a new song from their forthcoming full-length Dead Ringers in the form of the hazy, Neil Young-esque track “Lion Killer.”
Elaborates Jenks Miller of Dead Ringers overall, “The muse dictated a creepy, electronic sound palette this time around. Because recent Rose Cross records have been pursuing the pastoral psych-rock sound of HORSEBACK‘s 2014 record, Piedmont Apocrypha, we had an opportunity to venture into the heady regions of the ‘hidden reverse.’ This isn’t really new territory for HORSEBACK, as Coil, Nurse With Wound, and a handful of post-punk bands have always been very influential to our sound. But it’s certainly the furthest we’ve traveled in this particular direction.”
Hear “Lion Killer” now, courtesy of Decibel, at THIS LOCATION.
You can also hear the first new song from Dead Ringers, “Shape Of The One Thing,” now at THIS LOCATION.
Dead Ringers is a lush, heady, and singular blend of organic and synthetic textures. The new LP sees the one-man Chapel Hill, North Carolina experimental project continuing to evolve while staying true to its distinctive sound. Written, produced, engineered, and mixed by mastermind Jenks Miller, Dead Ringers finds HORSEBACK weaving a bright web of drone, krautrock, shoegaze, metal, and psychedelic elements, driven by wispy guitars, synths, beats, and clean vocals, and bolstered by dense layers of hypnotic resonance. The music is heavy yet light, stretching across eight tracks (including one mammoth seventeen-minute epic). Taking influence from the doomiest grooves and the nuance of minimal electronics, Dead Ringers is the most cohesive representation of HORSEBACK‘s musical vision to date.
Dead Ringers is set for release on August 12th via Relapse on CD/2xLP/digitally. Physical preorder packages are available via Relapse.com at THIS LOCATION; digital preorders can be found via the band’s BandCamp page HERE.
If HORSEBACK‘s records seem heavy – as in, heavier even than most of their droning metal contemporaries – there is a reason for that. Jenks Miller, the sole member of HORSEBACK, finds inspiration from the heaviest subject matter of them all: the apocalypse. Shaking, buzzing, and constantly moving, HORSEBACK‘s music tends to exist in its own strange world, where the distorted swagger of Neil Young’s Crazy Horse sits at a table next to the haunted dronescapes of Sunn O))). As Pitchfork Media describes it, the band’s sound encompasses, “metal ugliness and heartland beauty, post-rock at its most spartan and hard rock at its most out-there.” The Chapel Hill-based Jenks Miller has almost single-handedly created the grim, swirling cacophony (with the occasional help of a studio drummer) that has come to define HORSEBACK‘s studio recordings since the 2007 release of the debut album Impale Golden Horn on Burly Time (later to be reissued by Relapse).
Since 2007, HORSEBACK‘s discography and renown have expanded significantly. 2009’s epic The Invisible Mountain (Utech Records) and 2010’s cassette-only Forbidden Planet (Brave Mysteries) were both re-released upon the band’s signing to Relapse Records, in addition to the numerous splits HORSEBACK has released with artists such as Pyramids, Locrian, and Voltigeurs. Half Blood, released in late spring 2012, marked something of a critical breakthrough for HORSEBACK. NPR called the record, “a celebration of light through darkness,” and brought the band’s slithering howl to its largest audience yet. Since the release of Half Blood, the band has also produced a three-CD compilation of rarities (via Relapse), multiple splits and EPs, and two highly-acclaimed new full-lengths (Three Lobed Recordings).
HORSEBACK‘s live appearances, although rare, have also been highly acclaimed; an enormous, full-band embodiment of the singular sequestered HORSEBACK sound from the recordings. Though dormant on the live circuit since 2011, HORSEBACK has appeared at renowned events including Utech Records Music Festival, Boomslang Festival, and Hopscotch Music Festival and has performed with acts as diverse as The Atlas Moth, Hull, and Noveller. Most significantly, HORSEBACK is the rare band whose music becomes a journey in and of itself; each album is a living thing, growing and shifting with every listen.