Haunted Horses are Myke Pelly (drums), Colin Dawson (guitars/vocals), a whole lot of energy, some serious dark atmospherics, and a shitload of amplification. Pelly's frenetic drumming slings back and forth around Dawson's sinister guitar shards and fragments then falls into a beat and takes the lead, all without ever missing either a turn or a stop. They're locked into this churning noise rock like they're possessed, and live, they'll do it to you, too.

The duo's tight-knit chaos could be due to the fact that they both learned their instruments while playing in a band together in Thousand Oaks, California. "We called [the band] the Lost Constellations," says Dawson, as both break into laughter. "It was a sort of alterna-grunge, and it was fucking terrible."

"I got my start when I saw the movie called Masterminds, and it has a song called 'Brain Stew' [by Green Day] on it, so I was like, 'Fuck yeah. I'm gonna learn that song on the drums.' So every day after school, I'd practice," says Pelly.

Support The Stranger

A neighbor told Dawson about Pelly's drumming, but "all I could play was 'Brain Stew,' so the band sounded like... 'Brain Stew,'" Pelly says with a laugh. Both left Thousand Oaks, and when Dawson tired of the Los Angeles scene, he rejoined Pelly in Seattle, where Horses got their start. They played out for a while, and then Dawson left for a time to New York City, but grew tired of the scene there, too. "Nobody really committed to anything," he says. "And I kind of felt it was like a celebration of mediocrity." He laughs.

As for their ludicrous volume: "I've always wanted to be in a loud band," says Dawson. "And we've been in a lot of bands where one person was in charge or really controlling, so we decided to do something with just the two of us. So to make up for that, we just started buying a shitload of amps. We look really funny lugging it all around." But it's all those amps, wattage, a drum machine, guitar effects, looped vocals, and God knows what else that create the shadowy cacophony that we're damn lucky to have. Good thing Dawson didn't like LA or New York. recommended