By their third record, many bands find themselves a crossroads of what to do musically rather than have laser-like focus towards a pre-determined goal, in terms of both songwriting and how the band should sounds as a live unit. Horsehead has never been a band that has struggled with that focus. Their new album Before The Bright Lights is proof of that. On Before The Bright Lights, the songs and the sounds working together like gears in a well oiled machine and it is by far is their best collection of songs to date. Formed in Richmond, Virginia in 2005, Horsehead have become critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic for their first 2 albums and with Before The Bright Lights have now produced a record that will no doubt be exciting to both critics and fans alike. Horsehead sound both hungry and excited.
Recorded from November 2009 to January 2010 at Snake Oil Recording in Richmond, Virginia by Dan-O Deckleman it marks the 1st time the band has trusted someone outside of their camp to help shape it’s sound. Dan-O’s attention to sonic detail and love of the songs has brought the album to a rich worn-in sound without being intrusive and without stripping them of their live-in-the-moment quality. Before The Bright Lights is a diverse collection of songs that expand far beyond the realms of the basic rock & roll album. The band incorporates more elements of country, blues and Memphis soul into an already broad palate of influences. Focusing on the roll in rock & roll, Before The Bright Lights marks the first time the band has used a variety of additional players to achieve their sound. Gospel style harmonies, a horn section, pedal steel provided by Steven McCarthy (Jayhawks, Long Ryders), piano and organ by Bruce Courson and even a duet are just some of the many elements that marry perfectly with the loud buzz of the guitars and the crack of the drums. “I am so proud of this record,” says Jon C. Brown, the band’s lead singer and songwriter. “This is the first record we’ve done where the sound you hear is the sound I had in my head.”
Before The Bright Lights shows considerable growth in the band without abandoning the hooks and harmonies Horsehead has become known for. “I feel I’ve met my stride and can we capable of making the music closest to our hearts,” says Jon. “We just wanted to make an honest, rock and roll record and I feel that’s what we’ve done.” Turn it up, LOUD.