Monday 14 April 2014

HORNSS - No Blood, No Sympathy - Album Review

Album Type:Album
Date Released: May 13th 2014
Label: EasyRider Records

No Blood, No Sympathy - track listing:

1. The Red Death (4:26)
2. Troubled Rose (2:01)
3. Maker Of The Moons (3:00)
4. Heir To The Pickle Throne
5. War Gods Of The Deep (3:41)
6. Graceless And Aged (1:50)
7. Ejaculation Of Serpents (3:50)
8. Haunter of the Dark (4:11)
9. Debreeding (2:15)
10. Arzach (3:02)
11. Below the Root (2:20)
12. Vine Priest (2:20


Unlike some who are content to adopt that desert sound, San Franciscan trio HORNSS were born into it. Moulded by it from the very beginning in the case of members Mike Moracha and Nick Nava, who originally got their start in the Palm Springs band Solarfeast alongside ex-Kyuss/Evolution’s End member Chris Cockrell.

Formed in 2010 with a line-up completed by drummer Bil Bowman (formerly of Zodiac Killers, blackQueen and Scrog) HORNSS have taken to the stage in support of Fatso Jetson, Naam, Windhand, YOB and The Freeks and are every inch the band you’d hope they would be given the ancestry, influence and arid air that forged their formation.

Thanks to the LA based label EasyRider Records, this May the trio will have a debut album to call their own. Recorded at Earhammer Studios in Oakland with Greg Wilkinson, if you were sold on the strutting doom groove of their demo The Red Death then No Blood, No Sympathy is going to blow your mind and then some. Drawing on influences such as Hawkwind, St. Vitus and The Ramones HORNSS deliver devastating doom, death punk fury (both Mike and Nick were also founding members of San Fran punk band The Jack Saints), stoned out meanderings and crushing desert progressions that will strike a chord no matter where your allegiances lie.

The band take to the road throughout August/September for a European tour in support of their debut album No Blood, No Sympathy, which will be released via EasyRider Records on 13th May.

The Band Members:

Mike Moracha – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Nava – Bass, Vocals
Bil Bowman – Drums


Hornss are not your usual Stoner Metal band. This is a band with added bite as they add elements of Thrash, Punk and Doom into the mix. Their style of music lies between the depths of punk drenched darkness and Californian Desert fuzz style Stoner Metal riffage.

Hornss debut album – No Blood, No Sympathy – is one weird trippy ride that embraces the crazier and schizophrenic side of rock music. First track – The Red Deaf, perfectly shows what Hornns music is all about. Jagged vocals combine with the sleazy riffs that Hornss play with gutso and relish. It’s a twisted combination of Hard Rock, Stoner Metal, Punk Rock with a hint of added Darkness that will soon have you following the Hornss way of life.

The dual vocals of Mike and Nick give Hornss a two-headed attack of added menace that goes straight for the jugular. They prove what a deadly duo they can be on the 2 minute on the darkly infectious punk blast of Troubled Rose. Which pays homage to 70s Gothic/Horror Punk with gutso though adding a few deft touches of Stoner Metal riffage here and there.

Hornss blast their way through a stunning collection of tracks that adds elements of creepy noises and effects that verge into Doom Metal/Occult Rock territory. Maker of the Moons proves that Hornss love to experiment with their sound and prey on your fears, as nothing is as straight forward as it should be.

Hornss have quite a reputation within the Stoner/Hard Rock scene as they have paid their dues in supporting some legendary bands over the last few years. The band have outdone themselves on the album as they have written a strong collection of spellbinding tracks with enough power and magic to make you fall under their spell. Hornss have pulled no punches with their unique take on Desert Rock/Stoner Metal. At its heart, the album is built on classic based Desert/Stoner Metal riffs though Hornns have taken it down a dark and twisted route, which works wonders for their music.

However, you still have some groovy psychedelic riffs to sing-along to on Ejaculation of Serpents. It’s a groovy psych little rock number that has huge monstrous Stoner Metal riffs that harks back to the days when Fu Manchu, Kyuss and Monster Magnet ruled the Stoner Metal world. This track feels like a love letter to those legendary bands but with added psychedelic FUZZ to make your journey ever so sweeter and trippier. Definitely, my fave track off the album.

Hornss have created something special with this album here. Their music is still very hard to describe even for me and I am well into double figures listening to this album. Let’s just say that Hornss are one of the very best Hard Rock/Stoner Metal bands starting to make a name for themselves and with No Blood, No Sympathy they have created something special indeed.

The best way I can describe this album is the following. – Imagine if Alice Cooper was ever given the chance to front Kyuss then this would be the dark and delicious twisted result. If that doesn’t get you interested then nothing will. Believe the hype folks as this album has it all. End Of.

Kudos to EasyRider Records for signing another quality band to their roster.

Thanks to Richard Jones at Sheltered Life PR and EasyRider Records for sending us a promo to review. The album will be available to buy from May 13th 2014 on Vinyl/CD/DD

Check The Band from links below

Written by Steve Howe