Black Horse's Hard Rock 'Shake' Down

Critical Mass

by William Goodman

Marrying musical genres is a longstanding trick of the trade, and logical formula from which much of today's most interesting and listenable product was born. But with "Shake, Shake, Shake," the lead tune from Black Horse's debut, The Black Arts of Black Horse (self-released April 8), bridging the gaps has never been more refined, as the duo mix the minutiae of different yet closely related rock niches into one. Trudging out with a heavy riff and mechanical drumming reminiscent of Marilyn Manson's late '90s work, "Shake, Shake, Shake" soon settles into an industrial-esque dirge with intonations of wall-o-fuzz art-metal. But as the tune pushes on, and co-vocalist, guitarist, and keyboardist April Goettle's vocals come to the forefront, the tune's garage rock qualities hold their ground; her lyrics and vocals paired with co-vocalist, guitarist, and programmer AP Schroder's flat screech, blend with the decidedly heavy instrumentation to deliver an untapped form of barroom sass.

"I'm the kind of girl that likes to shake, shake, shake," Goettle belts over a sludgy mix of distant riffs, drum machines, and layered white noise. Chiefly a fuzzed over three chord rouser, "Shake, Shake, Shake," despite its musical simplicity, arrives with an acute sense of urgency; maybe after years in various bands, Goettle and Schroder's Black Horse has shaken up just the right formula.

Now Hear This: Black Horse - "Shake Shake Shake" DOWNLOAD MP3

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