Ho-Agulations are in order. Six years, eight releases, dozens of side projects, and hundreds of shows would be enough to tucker out any band, but as a host of muggers, snowstorms, broken strings, punctured drum heads, and blown fuses and minds will attest, Ho-Ag (and their associated bands) are what you’d call an unstoppable force. Behold the latest evidence of their boundless energy as they drop Doctor Cowboy (Hello Sir) at the Middle East on May 17, joined by Big Bear, We Versus the Shark, and Shore Leave.
Ho-Ag, “Submarine Unspeakable”
This track off the brand-new Doctor Cowboy is Ho-Ag at their quintessentialest. Morse codes of unadorned synth, weird eddies of guitar, all sorts of melodic fits and starts, and vocals that swerve between delirious auctioneering and tribal incantation — it’s the musical equivalent of a big cartoon fight cloud rolling down the street.
Zoig-Ma-Noig, “Juno Fantasy”
Legendary? No, not quite yet. Notorious? Give them some time. Buzzy? I wouldn’t say that. Analogous to an Oreo in that if Ho-Ag were the whole cookie, this multiform Tyler Derryberry side project would be its inner disc of delicious synthetic crème? Precisely.
Another rarely appearing Derryberry outing, Longknives deal out some seriously brutal beauty. “6” is like some ungodly combo of Big Black, the Static, and a very large, very angry robot. There’s no telling whether they’ll ever play again, so we recommend listening to this in a room full of lightning and smoke.
Brutal Love Masters, “Jump Ship” et al.
They might not be complete songs — in fact, they aren’t: they’re just little parts of songs, snippets of proposals for parts of songs, and Matt Parish and (Big Bear’s) Jordyn Bonds laughing at each other when they screw up. Still, the Brutal Love Masters tell (fragments of) a grander story about potential: the fun to be had on the road to realization.