THE PRESS RELEASE: “Horse Lords make music for the liberation of mind and body. The Baltimore quartet’s new album The Common Task points to a utopian, modernist ideal, recalling as diverse a cohort as The Ex and Glenn Branca to raucous Saharan guitar music, Albert Ayler, and James Tenney. As evidenced by the album’s title, as well as songs like Fanfare for Effective Freedom and People’s Park, the band’s penchant for radical politics is especially accentuated on this release. Horse Lords are the Pied Piper of experimental music and radical thought. Their music is unabashedly fun, and experiencing it in a live context is an experience of collective ecstasy, each body moving to its own notion of what the beat may be. By showing just how joyous it can be to imagine new futures and possibilities, by making us dance and howl with each tectonic shift, they show how dazzling the path towards utopia could be.”
MY TWO CENTS: Few bands can (and do) simultaneously hit you below the belt and above the neck quite like these Charm City brainiacs. The sax-laced, experimental jazz-rock quartet’s mathletic instrumentals are built around syncopated circles of melody and rhythm that interlock in a gracefully intricate manner vaguely reminiscent of King Crimson in the throes of an Adderall binge. But the fantastic foursome also smart enough to know all their fancy fingerwork makes a far better impression when it can also inspire some fancy footwork — so they make sure to anchor their audacious antics in undeniably groovy, hip-swivelling surroundings. With all that on their plate, vocals would be nothing but an unwelcome and unnecessary distraction.