I have been a longtime fan of the Post-Rock/Hardcore band Will Haven from the moment I first heard them years ago so it was a no brainer for me to check out Horseneck recently when I saw they had connections to WHVN. Those connections are in the form of present and/or past members of not only Will Haven but Chelsea Wolfe as well but to be honest, that is where any and all comparisons to either band should be stopped. In fact, comparisons should not even be actually made because Horseneck is one of the more uniquely stand-alone bands I have heard in awhile. The sound they have is unlike most anything else happening in the heavy rock, alternative, or what have you scenes..their music is as diversified as it gets. And what it gets here is fantastically rocking and energetically intense and I really don’t know what labels or genre quantifications to throw at you to properly relate what the hell is going on here with the “Heavy Trip” debut. Guitarist/vocalist Anthony Paganelli, bassist Lennon Hudson, guitarist/vocalist Lance Jackman and drummer Jess Gowrie meld elements of Post-Rock, Aggro-Noise Rock, Hardcore and, believe it or not, Classic Rock. Hell, they even have synths, organs and horn sections at times and man, oh man does it make for some amazingly fascinating music on this album. This album, “Heavy Trip” being exactly what this is with the ten tracks of dense heaviness recorded by Lance Jackman (Will Haven) at The Dock, mixed by Scott Evans (Kowloon Walled City) at Antisleep Studios and mastered by Carl Saff (Big Business, Helms Alee, Russian Circles) at Saff Mastering. It will be issued on February 17th on CD, cassette, and digital formats.
From the bluesy stoner-fied, Deep Purple-tinged intro of the opening song “Bird Worried“, you know that this is not your typical musical fare, no, far from it. With a bit of college rock airs taking the controls, the song’s abrasive hardcore vocals eventually give way to cleaner, heavily effect-laden ones and then the entry of the heavy blues-based female ones is an unexpected twist. The mind-blowing has just begun though as “Michael Caine” (streaming above) dives right into some fuzz rock guitars and kit-splintering drums. The energy levels rapidly rise and then out of nowhere, what sounds like a Hammond organ?! Hell yes. Things bounce all over the place in remaining cuts like the aggression-riveted “P.A.G.“, the psychedelia-tinged, straightforward rock of “Smokin’ Stacks” or the heady, heavy-handed “Hangman“. I can adamantly say that “Bobby Brown” (below) is one of my favorite tracks from the release as it lends itself a bit more closer to Will Haven-esque type styling..abrasive and caustically volatile. Like an emotional implosion that’s all directed inward as it does irreparable destruction but you like the experience without question.
Of the four remaining cuts, the doomy nuances of “No Gods” intro provides a slight breather before it soon detonates into the ongoing onslaught of massive riffs upon acidic rhythms and vocals. The ethereal elements of the female vocalizations intermittently delivered within the track are rather alluring but before you can settle in, “Lester Vitalis” erupts. At just a little over two minutes in length, this song is a senses-spiraling assault of sinister sonic specialties that goes as quickly as it came, giving way to the deepened recesses of “Basket Of Snakes“. Hardcore-tainted and bluesy as all get-out, the dual male and female vocals work well upon gargantuan guitar grooves and that infectious organ yet again. Things close with another of my favorite songs, “Plow The Road“, which once again unfurls with dizzying energies and super solid, tight knit playing from everyone involved and thus eventually ends this monstrously magnificent debut from Horseneck, “Heavy Trip“.