Another obsession of mine, in case you didn’t know, is music soundtracks. From Twin Peaks to Sweeney Todd (and the not-so-secret-guilty-pleasure Footloose), I love music that blends in visual sounds and musical landscapes. Despite not being part of a soundtrack, The Judas Horse’s EP Holy War would be perfect on a David Lynch or a Gus Van Sant movies. Meghan Mulhearn and Linn Rogers both come from diverse musical backgrounds. After the breakup of their individual former bands Descolada (Meghan) and Birds on the Ground (Linn), The Judas Horse released the first album, Pathfinder, on Descolada Records in June 2009. Dave Lynch joined a few months ago and has made a dramatic impact in the sound of the band. Holy War is the result of different musical sources and stimuli, drawing from both the Gothic tradition and slightly disturbed folk a là Thus:Owl.
Firstly, the use of violin as a third vocalist creates a spectrum of reflections which goes beyond the female/male choruses (Neighbour, Holy War), as the violin-driven Gambit may prove. The EP flows from funereal landscapes to baroque guitar picking, winking at the roughest classical tradition in a crescendo of strings (Chess), proving how instrumental does not necessarily mean flat sound. A doom-y bass line creates a richer and less melancholic outset, which approaches the psychedelic suites of Expo ‘70, in a more acid-infused experience. The songs tend to fluctuate between reverb-esque psychedelic violin-solos and musical climaxes, in a rich kaleidoscope of sounds.
There is harmony and dissonance, a choir of voices and sparks that alternatively clash and conjoin, and a focus mainly around Meghan Mulhearn’s gloomy violin, still with a special attention to the musical universe that revolves about it all. Such a wide palette of colours, that it is almost impossible to place it in this musical mosaic.
Similar Artist: Expo 70, This Mortal Coil, Danny Elfmann