Disorienting, bracing, and brutal, but with strange pockets of joy scraped out between the crushed plastic patterns, Comradly Objects finds Horse Lords hypnotizing listeners amid the swirl of their noise-prog vortex. There may be no more apt album for 2022, quite honestly. The LP is a collection that seeks to sear the listener from the inside out, a radiant beacon that can’t help but hold our attention, but burns as hot as it glows bright. The listener is pulled in several directions all at once. Slices of sanguine sounds rumble through the anointed filters, but the band returns time and again to the squall of noise that comes from all angles. Funk filters through like microplastic into the food chain, a confetti colored poison that dazzles with dire consequences. A slight whiff of Madchester even makes it through on “Mess Mend” before the band melts the merriment in their forge moments later. The embellishments are interesting, but there’s something more substantial at the record’s core.
The Baltimore band has long been a well of turbulence, but this time the manic motion is in fact a mirror of the moment. Like their contemporaries in Sunwatchers, the frenetic energy here is meant to be converted into action, meant to siphon the broken pieces of the soul so that listeners can combat the chaos at hand. The title’s nod to a music for the masses might seem at odds with its abrasive innards, but perhaps its time to jettison the comforts and embrace the insistent drive and serrated sensations that adorn Comradly Objects. Down the center line of the album, at the core of the angles, skronks, drones, and dirges is a metronomic force that pulls the listener forward. There’s a pulse of purpose that we can all use at the heart of Horse Lords’ latest, and it helps make this a soundtrack for the collapse, whether we’re ready or not.
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