Horseback - Dead Ringers 2-LP (Black vinyl)


Horseback shifting more towards psychedelic rock than to drone appeared to begin with their previous album from 2014, Piedmont Apocrypha. But whereas that album seemed to embrace that aspect entirely and almost abandon their drone background, Dead Ringers thankfully focuses more on the psychedelia while also still managing to somehow maintain a dark, droney underbelly. Not exactly "dark" as in evil, but rather "dark" in a sad, melancholic sort of sense. Here Horseback wonderfully channel that old time, "I miss my woman" type of bluesy feel with the psychedelic dimension of their music, and when this combines with the music's subtle drone influence, it goes a long way towards making things more somber, meditative, and haunting in a way that the psychedelia perhaps couldn't do merely on its own ("Lion Killer" and "Larkspur" are excellent examples).

Having been somewhat disappointed with Horseback's last album, Dead Ringers almost feels as though it's the album that I had wished Piedmont Apocrypha was: one that does lean more towards the psychedelic feel of Horseback, but that retains the drone roots as well, combining them with the psychedelic core far more seamlessly. Bluesy, relaxing, and catchy, but also dark, mysterious, and otherworldy, Dead Ringers is a fantastic release by a band that consistently demonstrates they are anything but a one trick pony. A definite highlight of the year for the psychedelic department.