Horse Lords, “Outer East”

Nick Das

On “Outer East”, Baltimore’s Horse Lords conquer the typically absurd. Around the nine-and-a-half minute mark on the opener from their forthcoming record, Hidden Cities, drummer Sam Haberman dons the spotlight for a moment, pouncing from toms to snares and back again on a solo that would overwhelm any high school band geek with giddiness. Yes, you read that right, the song features a goddamn drum solo, but never does the length of their guitar necks outweigh their abilities: the four conservatory-trained musicians expand every tightly wound guitar loop and thumpy bassline from one idea to the next like mathematicians stating a proof for a problem that never ends. Horse Lords don’t just conquer, they downright vanquish as they run though a hearty slice of the ‘70s musical gamut in this single sprawling track, shuffling from prog to no-wave to minimalism all set to the steady 4/4 beat of krautrock and delayed saxophone beaming in every direction, mingling about in the mix. The mind wanders imagining all of the possible musical crevasses these crabmeat fiends might explore on their record–until then, “Outer East” offers plenty of diversity to inspect, dissect, and gaze in awe.

Hidden Cities comes out November 4 on the NNA Tapes imprint. Stream the opening track, “Outer East” below.

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