Divine Horsemen | Memory Fails: Exclusive Video Premiere

The L.A. roots-punk legends transfix you with a dark tale of romantic obsession in the second preview of their fierce upcoming album Bitter End Of A Sweet Night.


Divine Horsemen are tormented by the ghost of love in their haunting new single and video Memory Fails — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.

The second preview and opening track from the recently reunited L.A. roots-punk icons’ fierce new album Bitter End Of A Sweet Night, Memory Fails captures co-founding singers-songwriters Chris Desjardins (better known as Chris D.) and Julie Christensen in full bewitching flight, transfixing you with a darkly potent tale of romantic loss and obsession:

“You’ll see it’s for the best
The last words she said
But I wouldn’t know
Because I feel dead…
Memory fails
It won’t let go of you.”

There’s more where that came from. Thanks to the hard-jangling, paisley-tinged guitar of Peter Andrus (a member of the group’s late-’80s lineup), the solid basslines of Bobby Permanent and the understated perfection of nonpareil (and non-touring) guest drummer DJ Bonebrake of X, Memory Fails will grab and hold you just as tight — and give you another taste of what you’re in for when Bitter End Of A Sweet Night drops Oct. 27 (just in time for Halloween!) on In The Red Records.

Photo by Frank Lee Drennen.

It’s the latest chapter in the second coming of Divine Horsemen, who reunited after 33 years for the release of 2021’s acclaimed Hot Rise Of An Ice Cream Phoenix. Along with returning members Desjardins, Christensen, Andrus and Permanent, the sound is filled out by Green On Red / Dream Syndicate keyboardist Chris Cacavas (who appeared on the 1984 Chris D. / Divine Horsemen album Time Stands Still) and classically trained violinist Elizabeth Wilson. Desjardins produced the album.

Bitter End Of A Sweet Night sports seven new original songs by Desjardins and Andrus, two Desjardins-Christensen collaborations, and two solo Christensen works. Another fresh original, Garden of Night, features lyrics by Erika Wear, who appeared on The Flesh Eaters’ 1999 album Ashes Of Time. The set is rounded out by a new version of Desjardins’ Murder Of Courage — first heard on his 1995 solo album Love Cannot Die — and three diverse covers: The Next Man That I See by the late Anita Lane of The Birthday Party and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Coffee Shop Blues by English duo Smoke Fairies, and It’s Still Nowhere by Ed Kuepper’s post-Saints combo The Aints.

Considering that Divine Horsemen’s last album was released after a three-decade hiatus, the rapid materialization of a new collection may surprise some. But Desjardins says the enforced confinement of the pandemic led to a major creative burst. “I started writing for this mid-2020,” he says. “I couldn’t work with Peter until the pandemic had calmed, so I wrote reams of stream-of-consciousness, and then to pull out some songs, I ruthlessly carved it up.” He adds, “I was inventing riffs on guitar, making video versions of me playing to show Peter the parts.”

Photo by Frank Lee Drennen.

Work on the album moved fitfully during 2021, as pandemic surges imperilled in-person work. When recording began in January 2022, the musicians employed some remote recording techniques for safety’s sake as well as long-distance issues. Desjardins says, “I knew that Chris Cacavas — who lives in Germany now — had done remote recording. When we sent rough mixes of the songs to him, he came back in a couple of days with finished versions. All of DJ’s drum stuff was done remote. He had returned from a tour with X where everyone had gotten COVID — except him! He said, ‘I’ve got an agreement with my wife. I can’t leave the house for a few months, but I think I can do this in my backyard studio.’ And he did, flawlessly.”

The wild card for the sessions was classical violinist Wilson, who adds magic to four songs. “Elizabeth Wilson is one of Bobby Permanent’s friends,” Desjardins says. “She had wanted to do some rock stuff and was a quick study — we only had one rehearsal with her. Even on her first passes in the studio, she had a feel for it.” Christensen enthuses, “Oh, my God! Isn’t she badass!” Andrus and Permanent are no slouches either: Peter supplied additional guitar on Detroit band The Volebeats’ album Lonesome Galaxy, released on Ben Harper’s Mad Bunny label, while one of Bobby’s most memorable efforts was supplying several songs for John Cassavetes’ final feature film in 1984, Love Streams.

Watch the video for Memory Fails above, check out more from Divine Horsemen below, watch my 2021 video interview with Chris D. HERE, and reconnect with the band on their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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