Urinating on the rule book marked ‘Bowel-loosening Sludge Rock’, and from a very great height, London’s premier exponents of experimental sludge-rock Pale Horse are like a breath of fresh air. Throughout this debut album just about any semblance of structure is simply decimated as they shift and slide from low-end sludge through to some really quite spectacular art-core instrumentation, as exemplified well in “Holy Trinity Church Student Bar”; the song morphing skilfully from thundering riffage to a mid-paced ambience, building up a crescendo of beautiful but still quite unsettling bass and vocal harmonies with startling results.
But it’s in the tracks ‘Sun Starved Day (Be Patient)’ and the remarkable ‘Rides In (On A Cash Cow)’ that Pale Horse really define themselves, the tracks bristling with dark, contemplative evocations that are somewhat reflected in the abstract sleeve photography and expanded on through pensively emotive instrumentation. As such, the latter is almost like the soundtrack to a schizophrenic’s deepest thoughts, its unsettling ambience and deep rumbling bass slowly heralding dementia itself while vocalist Seedi’s slow deep breaths and painful shrieks plod along with an immensely jarring indignation; its follow-up _‘Look What Pale Horse Did To Me’ _ostensibly showing said schizophrenic trying to make sense of the outside world, the music throbbing with an arse-rattling low-end fuzz before dropping to the sounds of a TV flicking channels and a pen scribbling on a pad, a disturbing bass line following his nervous thoughts before the painful shouts and crashing distortion trigger another violent attack.
You’d best throw all your preconceptions of what is possible with heavy rock out of the window because this is leftfield sludge at its most disturbing.
8Mat Hocking's Score