Introducing: Horse Massage
Sometimes its the bands that tell you the least about themselves that are the most intriguing. Chicago band Horse Massage certainly aren’t bending over backwards to do you any favors. Their biography (boogie-woogie tech start-up) and stated influences (Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters) are most assuredly tongue in cheek. As is (hopefully) their fundraising campaign to pay the ransom for their kidnapped guitarist. Their newest record (out 4/1) currently has a single song available to stream and its a 9 second outtake priced at $666. The band, which consists of Rob Majchrowski, Gordon Pond, Jakob Smith & Eli Wilson, and a rotating cast of drummers, takes an approach to their craft seems dadaist to the extreme.
Lucky for them, they actually also make really interesting music. It isn’t easy to pin down their sound but generally speaking, they have an affinity for pairing unbridled wind synthesizer freakouts with complex and controlled rhythms courtesy of bass, drums, and guitar. It’s both technically proficient and yet unhinged, as if the group spent years honing their craft and then just went off the deep end. There are shades of Pere Ubu, Stooges, Ornette Coleman. Or if you remember (and loved) terrific local band Gay Beast, you would probably find a thing or two to like about Horse Massage as well.
You can get a taste for what the band is about with their NPR Tiny Desk submission below, which builds out a repetitious template and then colors in and outside the lines with large doses of mania. If you dig that, check out more on the group’s bandcamp page (just don’t try to buy anything unless you are feeling really flush).
Horse Massage’s next record, Co-Opting the Community, will arrive via Gigantic Noise Records on April 1st. While the band’s shows seem limited to their hometown of Chicago for the time being, hopefully that will eventually expand to include the Twin Cities as well.