Spook the Horses is a six-piece band from Wellington, New Zealand, weaving together a unique sonic texture from post-metal, drone, experimental rock, ambient music and thrash, while at the same time showing a mesmerizing artistic point of view.
Their debut album Brighter is a manifesto of their creativity, with an hour’s worth of undulating, textural shifts that flow organically through wide open soundscapes, with scattered desolate vocals and thick uplifting dynamics. The band uses this rich mix of textures to spread a knowingly developed sound.
Some tracks swell and rise to brilliant conclusions in an unconventional way, driven by an energy surging through even the most relaxed passage. It’s a natural flow that carries on through the length of the whole record, from start to finish.
This is how, track after track, we find ourselves left to our own devices just to then be stretched like a rubber band to be flung in smooth flights above the clouds.
It’s hard to obtain this kind of suggestions only with improvisation or stopping at the first inspiration. This album is a fresh mix, blending elements of heavier post-metal with lighter ones more akin to the progressive sound.
Into the album
Very Little Is Certain, But moves fluently through a heaving mix of buzzing, weighty guitar riffs with shadings of desolate vocals, to escalating crescendos, before drifting out on a sinister and steady pulsation. With its rough and buzzing edges and a widespread sense of anticipation, it is a great intro for the following songs.
My Memories Will Be of Muted Greys and Ashen Smiles and Backlit Clouds made you sink into breaking waves of riffs and rugged harmonies, while the boiling Paper Harbours, Hanging Skies is the harbinger of the hostility theme.
The 12-minute-long track My Photographs Will Be of Skylines track close the album with a sweeping array of ever-changing harmonics and propulsive percussion.
Each track takes us through a long journey, in which agony and sublime alternate and mitigate each other morphologically with plenty of captivating nuances.
Six songs, about 60 minutes: that’s a fairly ambitious endeavor, as debut albums go. And yet, after Bright the band released two other albums – Rainmaker (2015) and People Used to Live (2017) – and they are still out there performing their music.
Discover Spook the Horses‘ music and listen to Brighter, which is available on all the main streaming platforms.