Since it formed in 2007, Hordes has put out a stack of lo-fi D.I.Y. releases, all stocked with improvised, droning soundscapes. The Lansing-based trio’s spontaneous and foreboding sound, reminiscent of pioneering bands like Godflesh, Unsane and Killing Joke, had always been a makeshift affair, both in the studio and on stage. That changed back in March, when the band released its first fully fleshed-out disc. From the opening track, “Cold War Echo,” the new approach to songwriting on this five-song, self-titled EP is impressive. Instead of meandering in a dark abyss, the band delivers structured, heavier-than-hell hooks. Hordes even stepped it up sonically and booked session time at Lansing’s Troubadour Recording Studio. The results are astounding. Buy this record. Turn it up. Terrify your neighbors.
Hordes plays Jan. 8 at the Avenue Café. See avenuecafelansing.com for details. The band’s self-titled EP is available for streaming or download at hordeslansing.bandcamp.com.
“Book of Beasts” EP
Lansing’s best kept secret, Hailey Wojcik, has spent time living in New York, touring the country and recording some indie-pop majesty. Her latest release, the “Book of Beasts” EP, showcases her ethereal vocals accompanied by biting guitars and tight arrangements. Released in March via Blood Bunny/Wiener Records, the solo album received praise from the likes of Noisey (VICE’s online music channel) and Entertainment Weekly. On top of songwriting duties, Wojcik also engineered the bulk of the record in the south of France and wrapped it up in Brooklyn and Michigan with the help of Brian Viglione of the Violent Femmes and the Dresden Dolls. Last week, Wojcik unveiled an impressive self-produced stop-motion music video for “Dog V. Man” from “Book of Beasts.”
Hailey Wojcik plays Jan. 7 at Mac’s Bar; see macsbar.com for details.
“An Onion Tied to My Belt”
The Plurals might be the hardest working band in Lansing. Between arduous coast-to-coast touring, band members Tommy McCord (guitar), Nich Richard (bass) and Hattie Danby (drums), all play in side projects, book shows and release albums under their own GTG Records imprint. Over the summer, the band dropped its third full-length album — and finest album to date — “An Onion Tied to My Belt.” Released on both CD and vinyl, the LP is stacked with melodious, guitar-driven choruses. It’s obvious this power-trio was raised on classic Hüsker Dü and Mudhoney, with a sound that gravitates toward catchy, distorted guitars and powerful vocals. This album boasts the band’s signature shared songwriting credits and lead-vocal duties, showing that even after nine years, a well-adjusted band can remain a complete democracy.
“An Onion Tied to My Belt” is available for streaming or download at theplurals.bandcamp.com.