Deathretro: Dark Hoss
Andy Brown reviews the nightmarish new track from Manchester-based electro-rock outfit, Deathretro. He shares his thoughts for Louder Than War.
Rejoice, dear reader, Deathretro is bringing a hefty dose of mystery and menace back to rock with their latest single, Dark Hoss. Having only released their long-awaited debut album last year, the band quickly reconvened in the studio to start work on the follow-up. The spikey, alt-rock punk of Exit Point provided an exhilarating reintroduction while this new track finds them pushing the proverbial boat even further from shore. The Manchester-based band is clearly keen to explore their sound and all signs point towards a diverse and sonically adventurous second LP.
While their debut album focussed on songs that they could recreate live, Dark Hoss is a far more layered affair. A brutally effective, ritualistic drum beat is matched to glitchy electronics and the kind of creepy, foreboding atmosphere that sucks you right in. As always with Deathretro, the guitar work is exciting and satisfyingly inventive. Adrian Ingham takes cues from Joey Santiago with the catchy, nimble lead line that acts as a recurring motif throughout the track. With the sinister groundwork laid down, vocalist Kie Harris sings like a man trapped inside a nightmare (or riding a dark hoss to the gates of oblivion, perhaps). The Sandman has clearly dusted his dreams with something brooding and bizarre. Despair and claustrophobia reign as Harris sings about some nightmarish place that, “feels like forever”.
There’s something unsettling and electrifying here that’s hard to put your finger on. I’ve had Dark Hoss on repeat for ages, looking for clues amongst the murky, yet strangely danceable mystery. Harris describes the song best when he says, “Dark Hoss is the subconscious architect: running wild, constructing strange and abstract worlds which blur the lines between life and loss. The moment when half awake in a dream-like state, the mind goes deep and vividly connects with the past, before we wake up and realise all that was is slipping away once again.” David Lynch would be proud. Sweet dreams, folks.
All words by Andy Brown. You can visit his author profile and read more of his reviews for Louder Than War here.