Cross Crazy Horse with Sunn O)))
If HORSEBACK’s records seem heavy – as in, heavier even than most of their droning metal contemporaries – there is a reason for that. Jenks Miller, the sole member of HORSEBACK, finds inspiration from the heaviest subject matter of them all: the apocalypse. Shaking, buzzing, and constantly moving, HORSEBACK’s music tends to exist in its own strange world, where the distorted swagger of Neil Young’s Crazy Horse sits at a table next to the haunted dronescapes of Sunn O))). As Pitchfork Media describes it, the band’s sound encompasses “metal ugliness and heartland beauty, post-rock at its most spartan and hard rock at its most out-there.” The Chapel Hill-based Jenks Miller has almost single-handedly created the grim, swirling cacophony (with the occasional help of a studio drummer) that has come to defineHORSEBACK’s studio recordings since the 2007 release of the debut album Impale Golden Horn on Burly Time (later to be reissued by Relapse).
Since 2007, HORSEBACK’s discography and renown have expanded significantly. 2009’s epic The Invisible Mountain (Utech Records) and 2010’s cassette-onlyForbidden Planet (Brave Mysteries) were both re-released upon the band’s signing to Relapse Records, in addition to the numerous splits HORSEBACK has released with artists such as Pyramids, Locrian, and Voltigeurs. Half Blood, released in late spring 2012, marked something of a critical breakthrough for HORSEBACK – NPR called the record “a celebration of light through darkness,” and brought the band’s slithering howl to its largest audience yet. Since the release of Half Blood, the band has also produced a 3CD compilation of rarities (via Relapse), multiple splits and EPs, and two highly-acclaimed new full-lengths (Three Lobed Recordings).
HORSEBACK’s live appearances, although rare, have also been highly acclaimed; an enormous, full-band embodiment of the singular sequestered HORSEBACK sound from the recordings. Though dormant on the live circuit since 2011, HORSEBACK has appeared at renowned events including Utech Records Music Festival, Boomslang Festival, and Hopscotch Music Festival and has performed with acts as diverse as The Atlas Moth, Hull, and Noveller. Most significantly, HORSEBACK is the rare band whose music becomes a journey in and of itself; each album is a living thing, growing and shifting with every listen. Dead Ringers, HORSEBACK‘s newest full-length album, is a lush, heady, and singular blend of organic and synthetic textures, the logical next step in Miller’s powerful identity and crushing, immaculate legacy.