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"We don’t sound like anyone else, we sound like Horsehead." – Jon Brown
On the eve of the release of their 4th record, no truer statement could be made; A rock & roll band in times when rock & roll is often taken for granted, Horsehead continues to rise above their contemporaries showcasing their versatility in both songwriting and performance.
When it was time to make their 4th record entitled Sympathetic Vibrations, the band wanted to change gears and take more time in the studio exploring arrangements and achieving different sounds then the 3 previous albums. This was a huge undertaking for a band that works relatively fast to preserve the live & immediate feel to the way they approach making records. The band entered Snake Oil Studio with Dan-O Deckleman once again at the faders. Tracking began in November 2011 with the plan to record only 2-3 songs per session, allowing the band time to play around with the same song a variety of ways and styles giving them the most options to choose from when it came time to assemble the final record. Several sessions were booked while songs were still being written and arranged just days before it was time to record them. The result is a very alive and organic record that sounds fresh & fully formed with every track.
Along the way, long time drummer Andre LaBelle bid farewell after 6 songs into the recording process. What would seem to be a stumbling block for most bands turned into a golden opportunity for the guys to work with a long time friend Gregg Brooks. Brooks accepted the offer and the results across the record are seamless. Much like on previous records, Horsehead reached out to some friends to help them take that musical leap forward. Jay Gonzalez, of the Drive By Truckers, was called in to add his touch on piano on several songs. Travis Rinehart, of Jackass Flats, added banjo to the waltzing God Damned The Rain To Fall. Beginning with the previous record, Before The Bright Lights, the band always wanted to add more steel guitar into songs.
Unlike the last time when the band had to call on outside help to get the job done, all steel duties were handled by Kevin Wade Inge. Kevin took the task upon himself to add another weapon in his stringed arsenal. Having Kevin able to experiment in the studio opened a new sonic freedom that the band previously didn’t have. The steel guitar is elegantly painted across the record to add depth and shape to every song it touches, it is apparent in the album’s opening track, Moving Target.
After almost a year in the studio the result is Sympathetic Vibrations. A 13 song tour de force, crossing and blurring all musical styles and genres that band has previously set foot in. At its core it is a rock & roll record but it quickly expands into something much more. From the sinewy Crazy Horse-style grind of Darkened Streets, to the pop-jangle of Running For The Door and Wasting Time, to the delicate longing of Hard Hand To Hold. The record becomes something you will nod your head to the first time you hear it and the second time through you will be singing along. From the dark introspection of a boxer in John Adams, to the tale of Candy and her man and the stalker who just wants to get Sweet On You Horsehead has created the best and most divers record in their nearly 10 year career.