Rising from the ashes of the origin of the original “desert rock” back in the heyday, Hornss showcase their roots in classic punk rock, hardcore, and heavy metal. The debut album No Blood, No Sympathy released back in 2014 exemplified the impact the desert rock scene of the 90’s had on the dudes. The band are featured on the recently released documentary Lo Sound Desert which is getting rave reviews across the scene for its insight on the formation of what is known as desert rock featuring bands such as Kyuss, Dalis Llama, Mondo Generator, and what eventually ended up as Hornss before and after they relocated from the southern desert to San Francisco. Seasoned in thick, obnoxious noise, skate sessions in the bum-fuck bowls on the outskirts of Palm Desert, and bonfires within mosh pits, Hornss demonstrate a tolerance to brutal riffage, reckless attitude, and a defiant energy you’d hear on an album blended with equal parts Fu Manchu, Black Sabbath, and Motorhead.
Intrigued yet? Well how about the fact that STB Records is putting the new album out on collector grade wax! (with Ripple Music doing the CD and Digital) In it of itself the term Mandatory becomes imperative. Here we present another round of Mandatory Vinyl bringing you a taste of the brand spanking new Hornss album.
As some of the regulars may have noticed at first spin there is that uncertainty whether the record should be played at 33rpm or 45rpm. That uncertainty is compounded when the volume is so heavy, so ploddingly fuzzy and doom-ridden that you double check the cover for the correct setting cause the default 33rpm sounds like the speakers are going to explode with an outpouring of sludge (in a good way). Just to double check and have some fun after a few listens I went ahead a verified the sound at 45rpm and I was actually quite impressed. The instruments excelled and it friggin’ almost gets a pass. The vocals sounded like a chick cranked out on groove laden chipmunk doom, and the guitars raged with precision. Hornss exemplifies the need for speed (or lack thereof) on their second full length album, Telepath, which will be released to the masses on August 27th, 2016 via the one and only STB Records on 5 editions of vinyl, plus worldwide digitally via the rising stars in the cult underground Ripple Music. STB and Ripple have forged a partnership made in heaven and hell combining their undying passion and love for all things rock n roll.
I had not listened to this album until I started spinning the Standard LP on my turntable, but I knew relatively what I was getting myself into and I was quite excited. I was a fan of the debut album. The hardcore doom meets psychedelic fuzz rock riffs have the umph to elevate the heartrate and shake any family photo off the wall with the volume turned just right. Telepath smacks the listener with somewhat of a lo-fi stoner sound, heavy on the fuzz and wicked on the vocals. Imagine Fu Manchu trudging through a sludgy bog hazed with visions of a dust-filled desert. The songs are relatively short placing Hornss deep within the punk isle of the desert rock subgenre. The guitars add a bluesy flair with intermittent solos which should cater to the heavy stoner rock crowd and the rumbling low end echoes with psychedelia which will garner the fans of the uber doom field. The fuzz blisters with malicious intent throughout as the villainous vocals antagonize the in-laws trying to relax. No shit, I was spinning this whilst my mother-in-law was visiting the house and, along with my wife, they were not impressed. Take that as a compliment in the heavy rock world. The heavier and louder the better right? I’d recommend this for a crowd who’s looking for something loud, not afraid of coyotes howling in the desert moonlight, or in general open minds looking to expand. My 7-year old daughter on the other hand seemed to be digging it, and I was rather proud watching her dance around in the listening room while I was attempting to write this review.
Like the last STB/Ripple Music release Witchskull – The Vast Electric Dark, which was the first edition of Mandatory review here, the release comes with a variety of options including:
• Test Press - 15 units. Available in STB Records exclusive alternate art envelope jacket sealed with a STB Records wax seal.
• Die Hard Edition -100 units. 180g - Black and Pink swirl with heavy duty high gloss case-wrapped jacket with foil stamping and UV print. Comes in a tinted Static bag with printed cover
• OBI Edition - 125 units. 180g - Clear and black vinyl with pink and silver splatter. Comes with exclusive hand numbering alternate art work OBI Series strip. 15th release in the OBI series.
• World Wide Edition - 200 units. Available through Kozmik Artifactz and Underground Records (AU) on date of sale. 180g Hot Pink vinyl
• Standard Edition - 175 units. 180g - Silver and Hot Pink Swirl.
And like Witchskull, the vinyl seeks attention, the digital screams for a Ripple subscription and the music speaks for itself. The more I listen to this new Hornss album, the more I like it. I’ve since gone back and re-listened to the previous album as well, which is always a treat. I’d say the only downfall with Telepath is the duration. I just want more, its one track shorter than the debut, but the pace of the record is fitting as they’re not trying to be epic doom or lengthy prog. That said, it’s a great candidate for the double spin. Both sides are evenly mixed and it’s a quick flip to treat like a 2LP and just keep on flipping. Take care though, because these bad boys are on the verge of priceless and as usually you best set your alarm for sale day which is this Saturday May 27th, 2016 at 12pm Eastern Time in the USA as is the CD via Ripple Music as well. Go get both, its like peanut butter and jelly, they go hand in hand. The artwork is stunning, the packaging is pristine, and the vinyl is Mandatory. Don’t second guess yourselves. You know you need it. Good luck on Saturday and see you soon for the next edition.
Order Here: http://stbrecords.bigcartel.com/
CD Here: http://www.ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/product/hornss-telepath-cd
Ripple Music Bandcamp: www.ripplemusic.bandcamp.com