Belgium’s Tangled Horns sound — at least at first listen — like they could be from anywhere, really. They present a raw, often at least somewhat stripped down rock sound that feels as though it could plug in anywhere from American folk music to traditional European styles, depending on what moment you’re lingering at on their 2018 record Superglue for the Broken, out November 23.
Taking on such a forward pushing sound remains a lofty task — but Tangled Horns pull it off. Their sound feels uniting, and personable, letting the listener follow along with the riffs, so to speak, and letting them in on the experience, too. The band doesn’t feel as though they’re playing at you as a listener — instead, they’ve invited you along for the ride.
That ride goes through an array of different stylistic ideas with ease. There’s tense, big rock n’ roll, and there’s slower, more calculated music that approaches the acoustic level. Importantly, the transitions really make sense. Instead of, say, plopping a slower track in the middle of a rushed rock album and going with it, Tangled Horns sound like they worked to fully integrate each aspect of their inspiration into their final presentation.
Although their sound is polished, and the cosmopolitan nature of it leaves the band vulnerable, perhaps, to being swamped in a sea of imitators, Tangled Horns sound like they rise above the fray, no matter exactly how many people are listening to them or not. They’ve taken a familiar sprawling rock framework and injected it with personality. That’s the lifeblood that keeps good music going in the first place, but often the farther down the path of commercialization one gets, the thinner it becomes.
Their personality ties them into the modern musical picture out there in the world, allowing them to feel like they’re right at home with, say, prominent American grunge rock bands. Tangled Horns don’t fall prey to the temptation to make overly slicked back, huge and sugary rock songs, instead controlling the process so that a real, raw product results — and it’s exciting really. They’re yet another gem hidden out there in the global rock scene.
Listen to the band below on Spotify