Horseback – Dead Ringers album review

North Carolina’s avant voyagers Horseback take a sharp turn to the left with new album

Horseback, 'Dead Ringers' album cover

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Where past releases by Horseback mastermind Jenks Miller leaned heavily on drone, Dead Ringers takes expansive steps outward.

The previously explored elegiac minimalism exists in spirit, but layers are piled on top of the bleakness to produce broader dynamics and density.

Listeners might well be taken aback by the chilled out, almost trip hop beat complementing the psychedelic guitars and fireside vocals of Modern Pull, while Shape Of The One Thing has some Signals-era Rush and Nitzer Ebb swimming in its background. Disparate influences and surprises are found everywhere here. As a totality, Dead Ringers is still very downcast as moments of buzzing, beat-less ambience remain; the difference comes with Miller’s ability to take genres not normally associated with that melancholy and drag them through the blue. Hell, a song like A Bolt From Blue that’s steeped in reggae and still makes you want to learn how to tie a noose is clearly still hitting emotional dark spots.