Horse Lords – The Common Task

On paper, Baltimore’s Horse Lords sound more interesting than they do appealing. Like worthy but not fun math-rockers. On this third album, they employ algorithmic composition techniques and knotty time signatures, fired up by the radical socialist theories explored in Chile prior to General Pinochet’s coup d’état. On record, Horse Lords run wild and free.

Heavy microtonal riffs ring out over galloping polyrhythms and a cacophony of sax, synth and pipes of war as the four-piece pitch up somewhere between free-jazz skronk, the ecstatic wing of minimalism and a towering, Marvel Comics reimagining of 75 Dollar Bill. Only the tuareg guitar jam of People’s Park and The Radiant City’s manipulated bagpipes offer respite before the 18-minute-long Integral Accident stretches out into euphoria. So joyful you’ll forget about the knots.


Chris Parkin