Trojan Horse – World Turned Upside Down

Prog, eh? Apparently it’s not a dirty word any more, but it’s still an ugly one isn’t it? That horrible image of men in capes making bloated pseudo-classical music that my dad listens to still comes to mind. Fortunately, Manchester heroes Trojan Horse have been challenging that preconception for the past few years now with their manic rock, forging a close knit scene along with the likes of From The Kites Of San Quentin and Cyril Snear, sharing a love of experimentation and a collective passion for forward-thinking music if not necessarily a sound.

Trojan Horse’s killer second LP certainly blows those old fashioned prog cobwebs (progwebs? No) away with the brilliantly named “Jurapsyche Park”, all tyrannosaurus riffs (oh yes), barked syllables in place of lyrics and giddy swathes of Hammond organ colour. it’s closely followed by “Sesame” which acts almost as an overture to the record, sci-fi synth passages broken up by punk rock blasts. If the idea of an overture sounds a bit too theatrical, it should probably be noted that there’s also three interludes to break the album up, or rather segue between the distinct sections.

The two epic centrepieces of the album, “Scuttle” and “Hypocrite’s Hymn” are like EPs in themselves. “Scuttle” is a terrifying punk rock ghost train, going from psychedelic bursts to a dubby middle section, all weird harmonies and echo and what sounds like a Stylophone, before somehow finding its way back out of the rabbit hole via a brass section to yet more stop-start guitar. “Hypocrite’s Hymn” goes for a more atonal approach. After just two minutes of, you know, a normal song, it goes all woodwind and ambient noise, then terrifying acid trip, then about four or five minutes of drone. It’s brilliant.

The third section is made up of a trio of proper pop songs, or at least as far as the rest of the record goes. The brilliantly named “Death And The Mad Queen”, “Behemoth” and the relative restraint of this year’s chugging early single “Paper Bells” all lead to a surprising “Fire! Fire!”, a reworked version of “Interlude” that almost sounds like a Futureheads cover.

World Turned Upside Down is an exhausting, thrilling trip taking in throbbing riffs, olde Englishe folk and dubby noise that’s overwhelming on first listen and immersive on the tenth. And despite there not being a cape in sight, I reckon my dad would still enjoy it. Which isn’t a bad thing, he likes Bowie too.

Prog, eh? It’s not what it used to be.


Release Date 13/10/2014 (Bad Elephant Music Ltd)

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Andy Vine

Like all cis-male atopic half Welshmen, I'm a big fan of shouty indie, noisy drone and the daytime Radio 1 playlist. Outside of punk rock my primary interests are tea (white no sugar please) and beer (brown no sugar please). When I'm not writing about stuff for Silent Radio I'm occasionally doing my own stuff which you can read about at http://dead-pheasant.blogspot.com if you want (you should).