For longer than anyone reading this has been alive, the wasteland of holiday shopping has oppressed its inhabitants through crapitalism and terrible, terrible music. But at long last, doctors have concocted an effective vaccine: enter Horse Torso.
Sometimes, your ears need a little bit of a palette cleanser. A couple hours of watching your fellow shoppers slow dance to Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra while constantly fogging up your glasses, a little tension should be expected.
Let’s get rid of that though, shall we? Here, pop a fresh tape of some of Horse Torso magic and watch as all convention staggers within you to eventual collapse. Soon you’ll forget the dreaded holidays, the problems of the world, and possibly, all recognition of time signatures.
The records first single “This Guy… is Not My Kind of Guy” serves up a salty sample of the band’s cantankerous mission statement. Any time you think the song is converging on structure or an idea that evolves, it’s quickly spaghetti-fied in every direction.
Horse Torso take up the negative space between bands like The Cardiacs or The Residents, but maybe with some David Brubeck in there. All this to say it’s certainly confident in being one of the more challenging releases of the year. This self-assurance makes some of the more disparate moments in songs like “All Liz Phair in Love and Gwar.” Now THAT is a pun. We think.
There are even some Yowie-esque moments here: The latter half of “Music is Stupid” sounds like a junkyard robot trying to assemble itself before suffering a fatal Charlie horse.
But closing track “Genuine Ostrich, 3 Payments” certainly contrasts the rest of the album. When the songs starts out with a lonely, reverberating whistle sound, you expect it to be the one atmospheric track on the album, a palette-cleaner-inception, if you will. But about thirty seconds in, it heats up with out warning, and carries off into the chaotic distance like a fireball in the sky. We should have expected it.
Listeners, prepare yourselves.
For more palette cleaning shenanigans check out Horse Torso’s Bandcamp page here or pick up physical tapes at Cous Sur Cous! Either way, throw this in your headphones for your next holiday trip and just TRY to ignore the jealousy rising up passers by.