How do you review an EP that’s only ten minutes long? Not even ten minutes in fact. That’s the challenge with LA based synthpop merchants The Warhorse and their latest release Bleeding Wounds Unexplained, a pop-punk aural assault that is both saccharine sweet and harshly discordant at once.
It’s a hell of an experience crammed into a mere nine minutes and ten seconds. Hell, there are bands that have single songs longer than this entire album! Iron Maiden’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ – 13:39. 65DaysofStatic’s ‘Tiger Girl’ – 10:37. Motorpsycho’s ‘Demon Box’ – 17.06. Also, those are all great songs and you should listen to them, but not before you listen to this EP.
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This EP is a result of people in quarantine with too much time on their hands, as well as serving as a little something to tide fans over until their second album It’s Been Fun, It’s Been Real, It’s Been Funereal is released later this year.
Opening with ‘Tony Counts us In’ and then charging swiftly into ‘Balloonmaker’ and then the glorious ‘Texas Chainsaw Mascara’ there’s a distinct pop-punk flavour instantly in evidence, the bouncy instruments accompanied by snarling, distorted vocals. The sound evokes memories of early-90’s era Nine Inch Nails or even Ministry and that’s not a bad thing by any stretch. For all you fans of MLMs, this one goes out to you, huns!
Track 4, ‘Hamberders’ is one of my favourites. There’s just something about the vocals that really does it for me. It’s also one of the longer tracks at a whopping 1:31 in length! Moving from that to ‘#bancars’ and again there are those electronic drums, the distorted riffs that really make me think of NiN. Track 6 is the blink-and-you-miss-it track ‘Tecate’ which feels like it should be a jingle for some sort of Mexican superhero show.
Track 7 is the sugary-sweet brutality of ‘Creatine Queen’ where we dip into some proper thrash/death metal vocals as we muse over the loneliness of the meathead once the weights are put away and all he’s left with is his chicken and vegetables (steamed, of course. Gotta watch those carbs!). After this is my other favourite track ‘Remote Control Dad’. An advert for a new line of toys? A movie pitch gone wrong? One thing is certain – don’t mess with Dad or his laser beam eyes will make short work of you!
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Winding things up now, track 9 is ‘Zero Vision’, a succinct way of describing how some motorists behave when they’re on the road, especially when it comes to those of us who favour getting around on two wheels. An angry little rant of a song, disguised behind the seemingly cheerful and uptempo beats. The EP wraps up with the bubblegum strains of ‘It’s Not You… OK, yes it is’ with one of my favourite lines “You expect a parade when you throw yourself off a cliff”. We all know people like that, let’s be honest.
Available for the princely sum of like four bucks on Bandcamp, this EP should be a must-buy for any sort of audiophile or music fan. This is a band, and an EP, that doesn’t so much straddle genres as it does toss them into all a jet engine and record what comes out the other end. Tracks chop and change from syth to metal to pop to industrial and back again and it. is. GLORIOUS (to steal one good phrase from an otherwise dreadful movie). Buy it. Support independent artists like these who are trying out new things. The Warhorse deserves your money and to be able to assault your earholes.
Give in. You know you want to.