by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
For the past few years it has felt like it's only a matter of time before Austin's Borzoi go and release something of a modern art-punk, post-noise rock, cult classic. If you've ever seen them live than you know the potential is bubbling over (it only took seeing them once for me) and the time to get weird is upon us. Following last year's blown out, mangled, and perhaps all-too-lo-fi-for-most Surrender The Farm EP, the trio are set to release their full length debut, A Prayer For War, via the ruthless 12XU Records (Unholy Two, Obnox, Xetas) on September 21st. Judging by the first single, that sordid punk masterpiece they seem so destined to make, could be imminent. They've upped the fidelity and sonic comprehension without loosing any bite. Hell, they've never sounded better.
"Big Pink," the record's first single and its video are the perfect introduction to Borzoi for anyone unfamiliar, a dark and delightfully tormented bit of confused brilliance. In an era where music videos are often crapped out without second thought, this one is exceedingly well-done, directed by the band's own Taylor Browne. Shot in black and white, the clip plays out something like a game show conceived by David Lynch might, with sinister fun and questionable intentions lurking at every turn. The video's lead, Grant Woodruff (brother of Borzoi's Rhys Woodruff), turns in a great performance, switching his gaze between forced smiles and sheer menace.
Capturing that spirit, "Big Pink" itself is cold and creeping, the low end dirge pulsating just enough to create that pit of tension. The slurred vocal howls eventually make their presence felt, with short detached yelps (which include the highlighted "I am the original pity party" and "buncha pilgrims") that would make everyone from David Yow and Al Johnson to Mark Mothersbaugh and Gibby Haynes proud. Like a drunk shouting the grandest of ideas from the bottom of a bar stool, the vocals are captivating in all their garbled glory. The band's tightly wound slither bursts open with multiple tangents, the tornado of blistering guitars breaking into a heightened groove and furiously jagged stomp. It could just be the best thing you'll hear this week.
Borzoi's A Prayer For War is out September 21st via 12XU Records.