The Garden’s Horses**t On Route 66 Drops Today!
Today, the Garden, made up of twin brothers Fletcher and Wyatt Shears, release their newest album, Horseshit on Route 66, which pulls inspiration from Southern California hardcore and UK punk. Along with these styles, The Garden continues experimenting with dissonant electronics, alongside the duo’s signature drum and bass sound. One of the non-musical inspirations for the album was the art of children’s book illustrator Stephen Gammell, as his drawings are infused with the same underlying menace that their music evokes. Another inspiration is the band’s fascination with haunted towns and the supernatural. Wyatt states that,
“A good chunk of the songs were inspired by the “scary stories” we read as kids and our interest in the supernatural.”
This is The Garden’s first album after leaving Epitaph Records. Fletcher discusses the reason behind the band leaving the label,
“We are not interested in closing our doors to potential opportunities we haven’t experienced. Joining up with Epitaph was something we tried out and ultimately were not interested in pursuing any longer. Progression is most important to us, if something is not working and not allowing us to move forward in the ways that we want, we switch angles.”
The first track on Horseshit on Route 66, “Haunted House On Zillow,” opens with a sample of an old woman whispering and speaking about ghosts, with various background noises playing in the background. After the woman stops speaking, a scary clown laugh begins and continues throughout the background of the song while a chaotic clash of guitar and drums joins in. “Haunted House on Zillow” perfectly establishes an eerie and unsettling atmosphere associated with horror and the supernatural.
The next two tracks, “OC93” and “Puerta de Limosina,” kicks the album into high gear with the heavy grunge sound. “OC93” opens with the same creepy laugh from “Haunted House on Zillow,” while featuring heavy drums and guitar riffs. Compared to “OC93,” “Puerta de Limosina” has more hardcore punk mixed in with the grunge style, with fast-paced drums combined with a heavier guitar sound.
Following “Puerta de Limosina” is one of the album’s first singles, “Freight Yard.” “Freight Yard” is carried by an addictive hook, reflecting the band’s punk influence with the drums at the forefront of the song, while the vocals seem to sound more muffled, as though they’re in the background. The overall sound and atmosphere of the song fit perfectly with the eerie vibe they’re going for with the album. Wyatt says that “Freight Yard,”
“…Is a song that is very near and dear to our hearts. Feel free to play it for your grandma and grandpa, and if you don’t have those then you can listen to it very quietly with no one else around. I wrote this song while laying down at a freight yard a couple weeks ago. I would’ve stayed there longer, but I saw semi truck headlights approaching so I had to get out of there.”
The album’s title track, “Horseshit on Route 66,” incorporates an interesting melody that’s woven in with their signature sound. “Horseshit on Route 66” also includes screaming vocals, along with a bird chirping in the background, to create an intriguing sound to the song. The following song, “What Else Could I Be But A Jester,” however, stands out the most on this album. Its breakneck beats and wobbly synths show The Garden’s more experimental side as they take a huge departure from their signature sound. The next track, “X In The Dirt,” brings The Garden back to its roots, while including some drum solos that focus more on the cymbal.
After “X In The Dirt” is the album’s lead single, “Orange County Punk Rock Legend.” The track takes a clear departure from the previous song on the album, as The Garden pits sunny guitars and bit-crushed drums against a snarling vocal performance. In a strange sense, it has a sound reminiscent of Len’s “Steal My Sunshine” mixed with Mia Rodriguez’s pop track, “Superglue” with some punk rock sprinkled into it. It’s a strange comparison that seems oddly fitting for the duo, as it fits in with the experimental aspect of their music.
Watch the music video for “Orange County Punk Rock Legend” below:
The next song, “Chainsaw The Door,” is another single that was dropped before today’s album release. It continues to depart from the heavier grunge and punk style from the album’s previous tracks, instead featuring a lighter, more electronic sound. At the forefront of the song are the cymbal and even some cowbell. After “Chainsaw The Door,” “Squished Face Slick Pig Living In A Smokey City” brings back the heavy guitar and some growling vocals as the band settles into a sludgy lockstep style in this track.
In the album’s closing track, “At The Campfire,” the creepy laughter and the sample of the old woman speaking from “Haunted House On Zillow Street” return. It brings the album back full circle, and with the fast-paced drumming, “At The Campfire” is a great and high-energy track to end the album.
Horseshit On Route 66 overall is an album full of a great mix of songs with the Garden’s signature heavy guitar and drum sound, but also more experimental tracks such as “Orange County Punk Rock Legend” and “What Else Could I Be But A Jester.” Despite this, it’s cohesive with a sound that makes it distinctly The Garden’s album, as the duo continues to play around with different instruments and compositions while still being able to incorporate their style.
Fans of The Garden are in luck as they will be going on tour this fall! For more information on tour dates and to get tickets, go to The Garden’s Official Website. While waiting for their tour to start, be sure to give Horseshit on Route 66 a listen below and stay up to date with The Garden and their music by following them on: