When a rock band has a certain amount of dissonance to their music, it usually piques my interest. That is how I discovered A Deer A Horse. The New York based trio are full on grungy rage and their rock has an element of garage punk and a splattering of Sleater-Kinney to it. Their new EP ‘Everything That Rots Is Rotten’ is a great introduction to a band that goes its own way.
Single ‘Smokejumper’ is a great example of this. Its penchant for not following a direct verse/chorus/verse structure is refreshing as the trio rock from one hook to another. Each time they return to the track there’s a higher level of ferocity in their playing and vocal display. ‘Otherwise’ is everything that a mostly three chord midtempo sludge fest should be. Reminding me of bass and drum rock bands like Clatter, the bass takes centre stage here for sections and its fabulous. The groove is strong and then it bursts out into its dissonant two chord melee – sweeping back and forth like an emo mosher wet dream. ‘Cold Shoulder’ is the most single-friendly but also the most full on. It’s offbeat drums and unusual chord change tempo switches really see this come into its own. It’s beautifully written in a way that as it works its way around its verse/chorus cycle – the song feels like its constantly speeding up. It’s genius and heart pounding. The EP closes with ‘Double Wide’ which encapsulates everything that’s come before it in a galloping beat and heavy riffs.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed discovering A Deer A Horse. I love how natural it feels to them to have a song, break off into a thrashing jam out and then return to it with easy. It never feels forced nor does it get in the way of a proper track either and only enhances the mood and feel. Definitely one of my favourite new discoveries of 2019.
Recommended track: Cold Shoulder
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