Greenhorn – The Plague Doctor’s Mask EP

Nothing beats receiving a self-released hack-job that actually ends up being...awesome.  "What is this?" you wonder, as you stare at what looks like a...like a...yes that is the skull of a triceratops.  Wait a minute, guys, this isn't even a plague doctor's mask!  Okay, for once, let's not put this aside, we said, let's take a chance, let's just go for it.  Can you blame us for not doing this usually?  You peruse the "merch" table (quotes required) at any show, and there they are, the CD-Rs.  And there's that dude with the beard and ear gauges spouting off how awesome it is with little posters covered in black Sharpie with \m/ all over it, probably at least one upside-down pentagram, maybe a goat head or two, and then some stuff about money.  Wait, I should pay for this?  No thank you.  So it's kind of sad these guys didn't take some more time on the look!  Come on, don't underappreciate the power of good art!  It's like old sci-fi paperbacks of the 1950s or VHS in the early 1980s, that stuff sold those things, regardless of how crappy they were.  It's pure perversion when something good lies under artwork that looks like it was pulled from a DOS clip art floppy from 1992!  Seriously.  Anyway, jokes about the triceratops skull aside, Greenhorn was a great listen, it was a repeated listen on a lonely car ride in the dark rain that we later used to throw weights through mirrors at the gym and cause everyone to bow before our power.

 

 

Greenhorn bill themselves essentially as straight doom, but really there are at least four or five levels of genre here.  The doom, yes it is there, it's the foundational matter that makes up the bulk of their work present on The Plague Doctor's Mask.  But there's a lot more than that.  You don't have the usual doom progression, the straight-up blah 4/4 four-chord variety that tries to impress with slowness instead of creativity.  Hint, Grief covered that already, let's do something else and leave it to the masters.  If we wanted our doom like we wanted out potted meat from Dollar General, well, we'd buy that kind of thing.  This is different.  On top of the layers of doom, you have a very interesting and splendidly utilized element of sludge, a tad bit of grunge, and even what we'd call post-hardcore.  Normally that kind of modern musical hodge-podge is worse than a Damien Hirst cube gallery of random animal parts, and it's even more pretentious and hipster than that reference.  Guy makes art out of dead animals, okay?

 

It's like the whole post-X curse.  Put something in the X and suddenly it's something new.  Nope, usually not.  Post-modernism in art, literature, and the like, is a complete farce, it's a combination of things that already happened and sometimes don't need to happen again, and this generally is what you see in many genres today.  Random combinations of things just to seem different than the rest in spite of how ridiculous having "post-hardcore sludge black metal shoegaze rockabilly bluegrass acid rap" on the flyer looks.  Greenhorn, however, do an incredible job bridging here.  They change from melodic to hardcore breakdowns with some of the most tearing vocals we've ever heard, but surprisingly they even provide some clean delivery a few times.  That's the only real complaint, those parts could use a little more work.  They're perhaps too '90s' in sound, and you can imagine the dude from Mudhoney grabbing the mic suddenly to be only kicked from the stage when the raw throat comes back.  It's almost there, so perhaps some more atmosphere to them, maybe some effects, would even it out.  Really a minor point, though, because the chord work, yeah love it.  The first track "Snakes" has a particularly awesome main line functioning something like a chorus you'll hear and listen to over and over again.  The progressive die-down on "Women and Children First...," yep more of that please.  We'll buy this, thank you.  Talk about a way to nab a few more reps, daimn son stack those plates on the bar going to squat some more.  "Do you even?" you scream, but not even close to the death rasp the guy from Greenhorn manages.  If only we could be that man around here.  Great stuff, and they're working on a new EP, so hopefully that comes our way, with a shirt, and some stickers, maybe.

 

Greenhorn Official Facebook 

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Greenhorn: The Plague Doctor's Mask EP
Self-Released
4.5 / 5