Horrible – ‘But Is It Even Music, Really?’ In Review.

Horrible – Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Two songs about wars, two songs about sleazy youth, two songs from a plot about aliens made of sound coming to earth.’


Horrible are the Chicago answer to the nostalgic raucous bliss of the 80’s Indie Rock circuit. Hard rocking, melodic and undeniably chaotically beautiful, what’s not to love about that? If Frank Black and Richard Hell had an amphetamine love child it would sound something not too distant to this.

With just their demo tapes released on their bandcamp early last year, ‘But Is it even Music, Really? is their first proper release and it’s certainly something but speculations and statements are nothing when the question of the EPs title is unanswered…


Kicking it all of is ‘Dreams About The Future That Keep You Up At Night’ this song attacks you with a snarling Proto-Grunge sound, as raucous as it is melodic. Guitars sounding like a buzzsaw, bass sounding dirtier than the toilets of CBGB and drums pummelling away with a psychotic backbeat which’ll keep you on edge.

Over the top you hear the melodic voice of a man deranged snarling his lines about life’s discontent with lines such as – ‘You know you’re scared and afraid you’re gonna fail. Hey, I remember when I gave up on my dreams, man it was about the time they all turned to nightmares’ – hitting hard.

‘One Reader Writes’, creates a claustrophobic sound not too dissimilar to the eeriness of The Wipers. The voice sounding almost like a cry delivering lines of schizophrenic beauty with ‘Dear man, Will you tell me what to do? She said to herself‘. The tune gets perpetually more dense and paranoid as it’s buzzsaw sounding guitar psychotically swirling to the tracks close.

‘The Scouts Go Planetside’ is young loud & snotty all rolled up into one. If the Ramones knew how to play an up-stroke it might go a little like this. The melody has and almost 80’s-Pop vibe and in that of great similarity to The Pixies they seamlessly genre bleed from Indie to Surf strutting their way through every note.

‘Audiophage’ has a dancey groove presented by the drummer while the vocalist yelps like a dog in the way Iggy Pop once did and when done, he sounds like he may well be having a mental break.

The bombardment of the guitars come at you with full force. This track is fun but in comparison to the other tracks it feels a tad like filler, enjoyable filler however, kind of like a cake with cream in the middle it looks so pleasing but as soon as you get to the core it’s just sugary air.

‘Don’t Tie Me Down (Just Tie Me Up)’ is wonderfully perverse in lyrical content. The guitar feeling like it came straight from the walls of the CBGB’s greats, with an overall Richard Hell & The Voidoids feel. The rhythmic strut is pulled straight from the swagger of Keith Richards and the drums create a smokey roomed Jazz-bar vibe.

‘Sniper Girl’ closes the album on a more chilled melodic vibe. Guitars cleaner although still over driven and muddy, overall creating a more Garage Rock inclined track.

It’s almost a throwback to what Garage Rock was with this 60’s influenced style, this track could come straight from one of the Nuggets compilations. Whereas the vocal is more in vain of modern Garage Rock like Jay Reatard, the spoken word sounds like it could’ve been delivered by David Byrne himself.

In short, I enjoyed it. Very much.

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Daniel Stothard

Daniel Stothard is something of a music buff. He resides in the city of Bath and can often be found at local gigs. He is also the Vocalist of Bath based Post-Punk band, Television Villain.

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