0017 – Hordes – Self Titled – Digi-Pack CD

Hordes CD on an Icy Trail

Artist: HordesHordes Cover of CD on Icy Trail
Album: Self Titled
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Format: Compact Disc

For what I have known of the Hordes history this is the departure from the Hordes that was and the more structured Hordes that exists now. The newer iterations feature more in your face riffing and less of the meandering drones and avant free formness. Recorded in the winter of 2013, and released in 2015 this disk is 3 years old now. Hordes not only have left this drummer behind but have now moved through to having Todd, from The Jackpine Snag, as their current drummer.  Here are my ramblings on this 3 year old disc.Hordes Back of CD on Ice

The CD was released in 2015 on a digipack, featuring a variety of line drawings in a grey black wash. Some look to be anatomical drawings, while others are, for sure, Guitarist Alex Hudson’s work. Recorded at Troudoudor Studios in Lansing, the sound is thick and well mixed. Right in your face from the get!Hordes Digi-Pack Inside in Snow

The first track “Cold War Echo” is the perfect example of what this album is all about – riffage and pounding drums with raspy throated screams. The thick chords stomp and build, hints of noise are always creeping out the seams and the corners. At about 2.5 minutes in the track reaches, what I feel is, classic Hordes status. The riff slows to a crawl and the bass keeps the rhythm in line while the drums plod behind. This doesn’t last long before that riffage jumps right back in, bringing the close of this track.

Hordes CD Cover in Pine TreeThe second song features a slow building stomper titled “Eyes Dulled Blind.” The riff leads the song, a half crawl stomp fest, with vocals distant in the mix. At 6 minutes this is the longest track on the album, revolving around a fast and a slow riff. To close the track down Hordes slowed the temp to a half crawl. This is where the real guitar work shines. I love the textures that feel so prominent here. Once the riff slows the bass and drums lock in, and this gives room for the guitar to space out. A perfect wrap for that song.

By far my favorite riff from this album is the opener from “Summer”. Again, the spaced out guitar work brings the track to an open. The drums and bass jump to life not long after, and then the song is rolling. The guitar work throughout this track is super satisfying. This is the Hordes that I love.

I know I was just writing about how my favorite riff was in the last song, but the first true head banger on this disc is “Life Chaser.” When the riff really comes who can help but give that subtle head bang? Even as I write this I caught Nibiinabekwe banging her head in just that ever slow nod, reaffirming my thoughts. This is the heaviest moments of the album.

Hordes Cover of CD on IceThe closer track, “Fall,” again brings to the forefront the anger that is so present in this iteration of Hordes. The riffs stomp, the vocals holler, it’s heavy as shit. I dig it! The end of this track, and the close of the album, again slows the tempo to a crawl and gives the guitars room to build that classic wall of Hordes texture.

It has been interesting watching the journey that Hordes has taken, and this album is just one blip on the timeline. At the time of this writing it looks like they had just released a new 7″ split on Silver Maple Kill Records, I look forward to getting a copy of that!

Hordes on FacebookHordes in a Pine Tree

Hordes on Bandcamp






Photos by Nibiinabekwe
Photos by Nibiinabekwe • Atlanta State Forest Area • Michigan

0015 – Lucius Fox – Cement Sun – Compact Disc

Artist: Lucius FoxLucius Fox CD in Field
Album: Cement Sun
Label: Self
Release Date: May 26, 2017
Format: CD

Lucius Fox is a 2 piece math rock band from Lansing / Kalamazoo, MI.  Titled “Cement Sun,” this CD came in a slick sleeve style case. The artwork features a starry landscape with the cement sun as a focal point. Simple and clean the CD top had the cover artwork printed on it as well.

Lucius Fox CD Field BarnThis album is largely an instrumental, featuring tight riffs and intricate drums. Lots of rhythms and runs on the guitar. I feel like I’m always moving forward when rocking this album. The recording is well done, full of super clean guitars throughout. My only complaint is that on certain songs I feel like the drums could have came up slightly in the mix, I listened on various systems and kept wanting a little more thump only on some songs. Overall i loved the production of the whole album and the sound that was captured.

The ending riff on the second track, “Caged Bird” is a pure stomp fest, I love it. The song builds up so a gigantic power riff that drops into a even more gigantic ending, powerful and heavy throughout. The next song is “Shapeshifter”  and it has this finger tap section that I really like. The melody is nice, and still has this heaviness underlying. Intricate guitar work and well placed drumming.Lucius Fox Cement Sun CD

“Keith Green” is the fifth track off the disc, and it brings the first vocals. Simple and effective, the vocals are a nice addition to the math rock wreckage that is being laid down. For me, the best track on the album comes with the title track “Cement Sun.” Again, the super tight riffs and spot on drumming shine hard here. The riffs come and go, popping back and forth between the main components really making a seamless feel. When the breakdown comes with the spaced out chords it makes for a satisfying reprieve. Spaced out simple reverb soaked cords and simple drumming help with the dynamics in this song. The ending is epic as shit and again brings the stomping riff and quickly goes back to the math. Super dynamic and tight, not much else to say!

This album ruled, and as I was writing this and doing the research on the band I noted they had just released a new album! This is the second time this has happened while doing the review process! I get on the site and Bam well look there a new album out! So let’s be clear – this is the older album, Lucius Fox has  a brand new one out, I have yet to hear it, hit the links below and you can check it out for yourself!

Lucius Fox on Facebook

Lucius Fox on Bandcamp

Photos by Nibiinabekwe Anchor Creek
Photos by Nibiinabekwe • Anchor Creek • Michigan

0002 – Minus9 – Valley Of The Sick & The Stupid

 Photo by Nibiinabekwe 45.053233, -84.078636.

Artist: Minus9
Album: Valley Of The Sick & The Stupid
Label: Flying Blood Records
Release Date: May 31, 2015
Format: CD Digi-Pack


Valley Of The Sick & The Stupid, by Minus9 came in a limited edition DigiPak from Flying Blood Records.  The Digi-Pack is white with black lettering, featuring a juice box, cell phone wielding illustration of a overweight man’s belly line on a field that is reminiscent of an American flag. ‘Murica. Continue reading “0002 – Minus9 – Valley Of The Sick & The Stupid”