Album Review

Brian Grainger – Silver Horns Heard Over Green Hills (Secret Station, 2010)


Brian GraingerTriad (Of Overcast Repetitions)

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Brain Grainger is an endless geyser of guitar drone with unmatched skillz. The dude just won’t fuckin quit. Last year alone he put out about a dozen albums (including those as Milieu). FUCK. There’s no way I can keep up with reviewing all the awesomeness. But Silver Horns Heard Over Green Hills was put out by Secret Station, a label I barely know from the free Lunar Testing Lab release, and it’s two discs so I figured it deserved my attention.

First of all, everything Grainger puts out is pure wonder. This is no different, except for the fact that there’s two and a quarter hours of wonder. I have yet to be able to listen to both discs straight through in one sitting. That’s good news, obviously, because there’s no such thing as too much drone.

There is an abundance of variance on Silver Horns, even for a minimal guitar drone record. Still, those 2+ hours have lots of themes & structures that run throughout, making it impressively cohesive without ever becoming boring or tiresome, never turning itself into a chore. Grainger sweeps it all together in a massive pile of sadbliss, pouring thick coats of misery & futility over glimmering joy. There are murky deeps swarming with confusion and dark clouds rolling over gloom soaked valleys, drone that’s devastating in the amount of depression & dread it evokes.

But there’s another side of the story, which isn’t so much pure bliss as it is a warm blanket of hope, the silver lining, the knowledge that heartfelt praise is right around the corner and you just need to wait out the storm. It’s as beautiful & uplifting as hopeless drone gets, eliciting euphoria out of heavenly darkness in a way that only Grainger can manage. The bliss is there, it’s just more difficult to see. Once you hone in on it and can fully appreciate the breadth of Silver Horns, you’re golden, and it becomes one of your favorite drone records.