Song Of The Week: Horse Head—“Hands On Me”

By Grace Guimond

Goth Boi Clique (GBC) is a unique underground subculture that transcends played-out internet rap aesthetics in lieu of a darker, more complex sound that pairs 2002 hot trash looks (think flame printed Von Dutch ball hats and dash dice) with post-mall-goth sensibilities (all black benz with the digi dash and German Blackletter). At first glance, they might be written off as just another subset of the overdone, impossible-to-keep-track-of “yungs”, but the sadboy comparison is both inaccurate and mildly insulting. The group – which including rappers and producers like including Horse Head, Cold Hart, Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, Yung Bruh, and Police Man – does things their own way. Case in point: OG GBC Horse Head’s fourteenth Bandcamp release True Blue –  which
dropped on February 16th – sets itself apart from his previous albums by way of some undeniably pop-punk undertones, notably on the opening track, “Hands On Me.”

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Album Art for True Blue

“Hands On Me” is produced by Ricky Eat Acid (REA), the experimental electronic side project of Sam Ray – best known for his vocal-and-guitar work in the Baltimore duo/trio Teen Suicide [Editor’s Note: Teen Suicide are making a comeback!!]. The midwest emo noise-pop of Teen Suicide might seem like an odd source of beats for a rap collective, but the ambient work of Ricky Eat Acid is not, and I had abandoned any doubts as to Ray and Head’s compatibility within the first few bars. The early 2000s pop-punk influences in Horse Head’s music is hard to miss – both in his frequently sampling throwback emo gems from bands like From First to Last, Silverstein, and Secondhand Serenade and in his rapping style – and Ray seems to have drawn on both those inspirations and the more atmospheric nature of his work as REA in order to put the beat together. “Hands On Me” is turn-up music for xan’d out nights at the graveyard with yr tru luv (see: fellow goth boi Wicca Phases’ “Cemetery Bounce”). Bridging the void between pop punk, rap, and emo, “Hands On Me” is a club song for when you are too sad to go clubbing.

 

 

Featured Photo via Noisey

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