The Common Task

Horse Lords - The Common Task
Critic Score
Based on 5 reviews
2020 Ratings: #49 / 268
User Score
Based on 176 ratings
2020 Ratings: #117
Liked by 6 people
March 13, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Northern Spy / Label
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Spectrum Culture

With The Common Task, Horse Lords have fashioned the perfect soundtrack to the chaos and apprehension that loom just out of sight as we try to navigate our lives in a world that just won’t let up.

Experimental rock's Horse Lords release their first album in four years, and it's meticulous and complex, but also undeniably joyous and celebratory.

Horse Lords make music for liberation, celebration, and revolution, and The Common Task is a prime example of their all-encompassing vision.

The Needle Drop

The Common Task could be a good gateway to the wonders of post-minimalist math rock.


Horse Lords songs are intricate, methodical patterns that seem to pulse and shift the longer you stare. Their tension is rooted in anticipation, the only relief the relinquishing of control.

Horse Lords pack a bag full of music theory on "The Common Task", with off-kilter rhythms and time signatures throughout. The results are very mind-bending, twisted and minimalist-ish. While there are one or two moments where the self-indulgence gets the best of it, I really, really anticipate what they're gonna do next!

Fav Tracks: Fanfare for Effective Freedom, People's Park, Against Gravity, Integral Accident

Least Fav Track: The Radiant City

Why is this user score so low? This could be my album of the year right now. This is right up my street. This is my Schlagenheim for the year, I think. I love technical music, and this is that and more. There are so many dizzying rhythms and experimental sounds to be enamored by. It’s literally a mind-bending project. It constantly shifts and bends around and around, exploiting time in its favor to create an experience that will leave you in awe. This walks a fine line between impressive, ... read more

In the last five years, I can say that my taste for music that deviates from the standard has intensified. Our ears need training, especially in cases that deviate from what is usually the norm. Our definitions of music change and what was just noise gains color and life.

With that in mind, my first introduction to the sound of Horse Lords is truly thought provoking, right at the point where experimentation catches my attention. Sometimes I see experimentalism being used to just ... read more
I'm a sucker for these kinds of albums. Reminds me a lot of black midi's Schlagenheim from last year and while this is nowhere near as expertly written, audaciously produced, and punchy or impactful, it's still a thrill and it's certainly very interesting, very fun to listen to.
I've been in a chill rut recently, only really able to chill out and listen to relatively relaxing music, save for my omnipotent obsession with Shaking the Habitual, so I thought, why not just dip my toes into some more abrasive sounds to start to pull me out of my laid back hole. The Common Task seemed like a good place to start, garnering pretty good reviews from my favorite music reviewing outlets, PopMatters, Spectrum Culture, and The Needle Drop, as well as solid reviews from some of my ... read more
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Track List

  1. Fanfare for Effective Freedom
  2. Against Gravity
  3. The Radiant City
  4. People's Park
  5. Integral Accident
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Added on: January 25, 2020