Is it a surprise to find the new single from Örebro, Sweden, heavy rockers Troubled Horse to be catchy as all hell, loaded with groove and a heavy-but-modern sense of boogie that’s far too busy kicking ass to worry about what decade you think it’s influenced by? Probably not if you caught wind of the four-piece’s debut, Step Inside (review here), when Rise Above released it in 2012. As announced in January, the same label will offer up Troubled Horse‘s awaited second album, Revolution on Repeat, on March 31, and “Hurricane,” which you can see and hear below, gives due emphasis on the above while also highlighting the urgency that shows itself throughout the record as a whole. Five years on from their first outing, Troubled Horse are very clearly ready to get down to business. Emphasis on “get down.”
Along with the crisp production, blistering performance by the band and unmistakably Svensk vibing, “Hurricane” offers the near-maddening hook: “I know you hate me/It doesn’t bother me though/I’ve got nothing but love for you.” It comes quick as delivered by cheapeau-clad frontman Martin Heppich, but even as he, lead guitarist Mikael Linder (also bass on the album), and newcomer guitarist Tom and drummer Jonas get their asses kicked by the throng that the thin-tie-wearing square calls in for backup, presumably in response to an initial noise complaint, that message resonates. It’s not about aggression (at least not on the part of those getting their asses kicked), or chestbeating, or any of that stuff. It’s about the idea of music as something that can bring people together. I dig that. As a species, we need more of that.
“Hurricane” isn’t really a complete summary of everything Troubled Horse do throughout Revolution on Repeat in terms of its general sound, but it makes for an energetic statement of purpose. It’s memorable, and presents the band as having their own take on elements that might be familiar to those for whom the mere mention of Örebro is a dogwhistle of a host of acts in the Swedish retro set, but moreover, it puts the focus on songcraft, which is what shines through most of all in Revolution on Repeat regardless of where an individual track actually starts out or winds up.
Once again, the album is out March 31 on Rise Above. Please find the “Hurricane” video premiere below, followed by more background from the PR wire.
Troubled Horse, “Hurricane” official video
Formed in 2003 in their hometown of Örebro (also home to Witchcraft), the Horse crew erupted into the consciousness of riff-worshippers everywhere with a low-key seven-inch vinyl release in 2010, and then their debut album Step Inside, which was released by Rise Above Records in 2012. An invigorating whirlwind of spiky garage rock, propulsive psychedelia and thunderous, overdriven soul-meets-doom riffing, Step Inside showcased a band with little interest in current or nostalgic trends, instead revelling in a consciously classic but undeniably fresh new take on the most revered and ageless of musical components.
Troubled Horse’s forthcoming second album is Revolution On Repeat. With a refreshed line-up featuring new members Jonas (drums) and Tom (bass) alongside loyal guitar lord Mikael Linder, frontman Martin Heppich’s vision of a no-holds-barred celebration of heavy rock in all its colourful, subversive glory has never sounded stronger. From the barrelling, high-energy thunder of Hurricane and Which Way To The Mob through to the sprawling head-rush of The Haunted and acid-tinged, lo-fi psych of Desperation, Revolution On Repeat is an instinctive and naturalistic triumph for fire, fury and feel over the forces of plodding revisionism. Throw in a sublime rendition of Warren Zevon’s death-premonition anthem My Shit’s Fucked Up, and the album amount to a bold, pertinent and subtly dispiriting statement on the state of the world, all underpinned by the loudest guitars imaginable.
“Hopefully people will enjoy the record and we’ll get to go on tour and play live,” Martin grins. “That would be really awesome! I know it’s a cliché, but playing and writing songs is a venting process at least for me. But this is a team effort, even though I always have the last word because I’m a jerk…ha ha ha!”