As advertised, there’s little mercy to be found in the approach of San Francisco trio HORNSS. The stoner-thrashing three-piece will make their debut on EasyRider Records May 13 with No Blood No Sympathy, a full-length that takes great and efficient pleasure in crossing the line between heavy rock and metal over the course of its nine-songs/28-minutes, cuts like “Troubled Rose” metering rolling groove with gnarled-distortion even as the later “Debreeding” portrays the crossover punk roots of early thrash with a modern twist of fuzz and satisfying runs of bass. Guitarist/vocalist Mike Moracha and bassist/vocalist Nick Nava hail from the desert punker outfit Solarfeast, whose Brant Bjork-produced debut, Gossamer (discussed here), proved ahead of its time in its blend of heavier punk and hairier tones, and joined here by drummer Bil Bowman, they charge through a crust-laden half-hour of power, somehow making a fluid course from the jam-room stonerisms of “War Gods of the Deep” to the metallic push of “Debreeding.”
I can only imagine there’s some in-band joke that comes with the title “Heir to the Pickle Throne,” but the track all the same to neatly rounded up some of HORNSS‘ stylistic breadth, which finds unity both through the production and the consistently dark overtones. A midpoint stop and slowdown shows off some of their nodding groove, and the hesher-thrashing central riff gets treated to Sleep’s Holy Mountain-style vocal compression, giving a true sense of stoner idolatry to the metal surrounding. It’s not everything HORNSS have to offer on No Blood No Sympathy, but it’s a decent start, and presents a foreshadowing shift from the straight-ahead High on Fire via much dirtier Red Fang aggression of “The Red Death” that will come to further fruition on side B cuts like “Ejaculation of Serpents” and “Haunter of the Dark.” So while I might have no idea what a pickle throne is or what one might inherit upon their coronation thereof, it seemed like the one to pick anyway. Hopefully you agree.
Check out “Heir to the Pickle Throne” below and stay tuned for a pre-order link. No Blood No Sympathy is out May 13.
San Franciscan trio HORNSS to Release Debut Album via EasyRider Records
No Blood No Sympathy to be released on 13th May 2014
Unlike some who are content to adopt that desert sound, San Franciscan trio HORNSS were born into it. Moulded by it from the very beginning in the case of members Mike Moracha and Nick Nava, who originally got their start in the Palm Springs band Solarfeast alongside ex-Kyuss/Evolution’s End member Chris Cockrell.
Formed in 2012 with a line-up completed by drummer Bil Bowman (formerly of Zodiac Killers, blackQueen and Scrog) HORNSS has taken to the stage in support of Fatso Jetson, Naam, Windhand, YOB and The Freeks and are every inch the band you’d hope they would be given the ancestry, influence and arid air that forged their formation.
Thanks to the LA based label EasyRider Records, this May the trio will have a debut album to call their own. If you were sold on the strutting doom groove of their demo The Red Death then No Blood No Sympathy is going to blow your mind and then some. Drawing on influences such as Hawkwind, St. Vitus and The Ramones HORNSS deliver devastating doom, death punk fury (both Mike and Nick were also founding members of San Fran punk band The Jack Saints), stoned out meanderings and crushing desert progressions that will strike a chord no matter where your allegiances lie.
Their debut album No Blood No Sympathy will be released via EasyRider Records on 13th May.
Mike Moracha – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Nava – Bass, Vocals
Bil Bowman – Drums