If your new to the site, welcome! If not, you should already know that I thoroughly enjoy He Whose Ox Is Gored. I’ve been a pretty big fan for a couple of years now. They haven’t put out much new music for a little while. However, that doesn’t mean the band hasn’t been busy. He Whose Ox Is Gored has been regularly booking regional tours, one of which is about to begin next week. I also caught up with them a couple months ago to check in on the progress of the new material and they informed me that they had an EP and a full length album recorded and ready to be released… eventually. Well, the drought is finally over my friends. The gods of “Geometrical Astral Shred” have smiled upon you and have graced us with a new He Whose Ox Is Gored three song 7″ EP titled Rumors that is set to drop on October 28th through Bleeding Light Records. Praise the progressive post-punk doomgaze heavens!
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Although it seems like over a year and half is a long time to wait for some new materiel from He Whose Ox Is Gored, these three songs are totally worth it. Rumors starts out immediately with a kick straight to the pants in “Void Assault” and it’s apparent that the band has grown leaps and bounds with this new material. The dynamics between the rhythm section, guitar, and signature dream keys are special to say the least. Then comes the ghost-like vocals from Lisa Mungo, which ads that extra element and makes the opening track special. Following up is “Buried Twice”, which is my favorite of the three songs. I love them all, but when parents tell you that they love all their kids the same, they are lying. There’s always one kid that parents actually really like to be around and “Buried Twice” is my favorite kid out of the three. Again, Mungo’s vocals on this song are killer and the highlight of the track, not to say that the musicianship isn’t killer as well, because as usual He Whose Ox Is Gored demolish. The closer “Rumors” is the longest of the three songs coming in around five minutes, with the previous two tracks clocking in at under three minutes (a rarity for the band). The title track straight up drives and has crazy intense energy. I really enjoy the song progression that comes in around the 2:37 mark where the band separates from each other to highlight their individual chops, then after extensive riffing all four members lock back in. It’s a great example that showcases how talented and synced up He Whose Ox Is Gored really is.
After listening to Rumors a dozen times, I began noticing a theme in which Mungo seems to take the lead vocally on all three songs, where in the past guitarist Brian McClelland has usually taken on the majority of the vocal duties. Also, as I mentioned above these songs are a bit more concise then what is usually expected from He Whose Ox Is Gored. So maybe it made sense for the band to package these three female fronted condensed jams separate from the material that will becoming out on the The Camel, The Lion, The Child, full length. The thing that excited me the most from this new material is how much the band has grown, I think by getting their rhythm section of Mike Sparks (bass) and John O’Connell (drums) solidified it has really unified the band and helped them hone in their dynamics. Rumors serves as an exciting and entertaining preview for what He Whose Ox Is Gored have in store for the future. The band is heading back out on the road later this week and I highly suggest that you catch their show.
Also, as a side note I have heard from the band that they are waiting for a label to help them back the release of the LP. I’m looking at you Brutal Panda, Mylene Sheath, Prosthetic, Relapse, Metal Blade, and Sargent House. Don’t miss out on the chance to snatch up He Whose Ox Is Gored before it’s too late.