Grafting the relentless repetitions of modern minimalism onto the propulsive engine of rock and roll,Horse Lords create an ecstatic forward thrust driven by dueling polyrhythms that curve endlessly past one another. The Baltimore quartet, consisting of saxophonist/percussionist Andrew Bernstein, bassist/synthesist Max Eilbacher, guitarist Owen Gardner, and drummer Sam Haberman, employs arcane tuning systems to achieve their otherworldly harmonies, made possible by guitars refretted by Gardner. The resulting sound is at once stark and lush, tightly interwoven and threatening to fly apart, making their live performances spellbinding and utterly thrilling affairs.
Their 2016 full length Interventions on Northern Spy Records showcases this visceral approach to live performance, as well their interest in crafting studio compositions that pull apart and reassemble the constituent parts of their music into more abstract forms. Interventions was featured on several 2016 year end “best-of” lists, including Red Bull Music Academy and The Wire magazine.
“…hypnotic, fluid and vocal-free: rhythms and tones achieving trancelike effect through repetition and discipline.” Noel Gardner in The Quietus
“On “Interventions,” fast, repeated riffs become collaborative acts, over drones and strong skeletal grooves that stress the upbeat, and the whole thing is held together by concentration, timing and willpower.” Ben Ratliff in the New York Times
“This is a band that believes that experimental music has the potential to be more than merely aesthetic, and every one of their choices—like taking apart their instruments and rebuilding them according to an alternate musical logic—speaks to a desire to upend the status quo.” – Phillip Sherbourne in Pitchfork