Nothing is so distinctly American as art on the edge. While Lily and Horn Horse & Banny Grove & Nicey Music currently operate on opposite ends of the states, they bring us a split record that unifies American avant-garde music (and there’s even some Kate Bush in there too). The record, with abrupt tonal shifts and variety in use of sound, puts the tongue in my cheek more than most punk rockers could ever dream or hope for.
Having seen them play separately in intimate venues over the past 12 months, in truth, I took this review on just because I wanted to hear the record before everyone else (and I did just that). What remains is bewilderment, an endless sonic gushing, and the urge to know more not only about this strange record, but also the fabric of American music itself.
Now, I feel as if I have to peer quickly and deeply before Banny Grove’s extreme sardonicism and satire and Lily and Horn Horse’s musical aggregations and dismembered song structures burn the fraying tapestry of the art scenes of American coasts. The strength of this split is that the artists work to extend cynicism unto each other and become accomplices to their own devils advocate that leaves the listener as the voyeur. When the listener can fully embrace the music and let down their guard, as Ben Levinson urges, the music brings with it ‘Positive actual Joy’. In DIY scenes at least, this feeling of joy and the ability to sense it becomes rarer and rarer as the hustle becomes faster and the stakes seem to be push whatever it is were trying to obtain farther out of reach. This split record offers the ability to recognize how important it is to breathe, or as spoken in the wisdom of Banny Grove from the song ‘So Happy, So Good’, ‘while we’re alive we might as well breathe.’
The dream states that the musicians can whip up sounds to compliment each other to bring a larger than life sonic cartoon that spells the mind and induces it into nostalgic perceptions of the present. Maybe then, there is no time better than the present…
Chris Hues is a human & writer from Boston, Ma & music editor of bostonhassle.com. //// They can be reached at [email protected] or @crsjh_ via instagram & twitter.
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