Ever wanted to know what it feels like to be the prey? Then it is time to introduce yourself to Grind, the new album from US trio A DEER A HORSE. It is a record which seemed to know, concentrate and trespass on our every instinctive want in temptation and especially the ingredients of imagination we have an inherent hungry appetite for. Of course that will not be the same for everyone but if a victim to the wiles of punk and noise rock, feral bred metal and simply predacious rock ‘n’ roll than the Brooklyn band have something special waiting to tempt and infest.
Describing the A DEER A HORSE sound is not as simple as those flavours just mentioned; it is equally grungy, post punk fertile and sludge rock invasive in many ways akin to a furious fusion of L7, Pylon and Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries but as album opener, Bitter, swiftly proves wholly individual to the threesome of vocalist/bassist Angela Phillips, guitarist/vocalist Rebecca Seatle and drummer Dylan Teggart.
From the moment that first song spun its web of wiry guitar ears were hooked with the swiftly following rhythmic enticement equally as much menace as temptation, a fusion of dilemma soon echoed in the vocals. The track is the predator that sets the album’s tone, its every move a threat and confrontation yet each twist and turn equally pure flirtation and captivation as one of the year’s best tracks gripped the passions.
Such its striking prowess the following likes of Panic and Blemish had one sturdy challenge to make an equal impact yet the scintillating noise punk infestation of the first and the prowling tempestuously bred second greedily got under the skin. Both revealed further evidence of the untamed imagination and devilish dexterity of the band’s sound, the cauldron of sound and intent which simmered and erupted in the latter a blistering involvement of ears and spirit.
Certainly some tracks burrowed deeper in the instinctive passions than others but as the relatively even tempered yet volatile Give It Up gave thick evidence to, never a song left attention leaning elsewhere or ears less greedy for more of their persuasion, the likes of Brute Force with its sludgy crawl through incendiary sonic intimation and realisation and the atypical shuffle of Keys with its unpredictable tempting and involvement rich confirmation.
Among them ears were bullied and treated to Labor Day, a rhythmically and sonically nagging manipulation with raw breath to and seductive vocal coaxing in its post punk/noise rock declaration and the untamed seduction of Dinner Theater. The addiction forging last is an antagonism of irritability and defiance, a brutal serenade of rancorous dissent and insolence which sculpted yet another lofty peak in the album’s landscape.
Concluded by One Way Out and its wolfish siren-esque web of predacious contemplation, rhythmic orchestration and concussive uproar, Grind proved a stunning and ravenously irresistible challenge; the keenest galvanic protagonist.
This year has shown itself the host of some irrepressible and essential offerings and A DEER A HORSE has thrust their exploits right to the frontline.
Grind is out now digitally and on vinyl via Bitter Records; available @ https://adeerahorse.bandcamp.com/album/grind
Pete RingMaster 21/04/2022
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