Night Horse – The Dark Won’t Hide You – TeePee Records By Keith Boyd 12.10.8
From riff one to the final note this disc is a heaping helping of great, greasy and bottom heavy ROCK! The grooves are so thick and meaty here you find yourself not so much looking at the liner notes as checking for a cattle brand. Night Horse is comprised of some folks (and friends) from the mighty LA band Ancestors whose dirge mythology infuse debut came out on TeePee earlier this year. Whereas Ancestors deals in extended epics which ebb and flow with mysterious grace, Night Horse comes straight to the point. And what point is that you might say? Well it’s a heavy blast of early 70’s Blues Rock mainlined through a modern punkish sensibility.
I hear the channeled tones of Led Zep, Captain Beyond and Terry Reid coming through in the riffs. These butt up against vocal strains reminiscent of Glenn Danzig at his burly best. The heavy as a fucking coffin production brings all of this to the ear with a brutal clarity and depth of tone. I’d like to give a gold medal to whoever recorded Brandon James Pierce’s drums. It is so easy to frig up the sound of a drum kit. They get it just right here. Not only is the playing superb, heavy and grounding (you could build a high rise on that foundation!) but the recording goes into the Hall of Fame league with the recording of John Bonham and the drums on Credence Clearwater.
Lyrically, thematically and we’re dealing with the classic preoccupations of the Blues; Booze, Women and Worries. These subjects have hounded everyone from Robert Johnson to (early) Fleetwood Mac and on to Rose Tattoo or The Allman Brothers Band. They even do a bang up job of a Sleepy John Estes cover, “Worried Life Blues”.
There’s no pretense here and that’s a part of the charm. The whole deal comes off at face value. It’s a bunch of talented guys who dig a specific era of music and are here giving their all to do it right. While it’s on my mind I’m wondering, is TeePee Records the last label with cajones in the land? They are consistently putting out the biggest, thickest and craziest stuff while never ignoring the weird and wonderfully bent noise.