Hailing from the lands of Minutemen and Black Flag, experimental duo the Garden has been on
the cutting edge of punk music for many years. Their latest album Horseshit on Route 66 is a
continuation of this trajectory.
Largely, the hardcore punk flavors of Kiss My Super Bowl Ring are present on this album as
well but in true Garden fashion many tropes of the hardcore genre are subverted or sent up.
The album contains skank beats and blast beats galore but they are oftentimes paired with
mellower more jazzy guitar lines on tracks such as “Orange County Punk Rock Legend” or the
title track. Similarly, absurd and silly samples are used to create levity on tracks that would
otherwise be straight ahead punk tunes. Spooky 60s cartoon ghost noises inhabit “Haunted
House On Zillow” and cackling laughter can be heard on various tracks throughout the album.
Songs like “Chainsaw the Door” show the more dancey synth stylings of the duo while “What
Else Could I be but a Jester” is drum machine filled and super cyber sounding yet is still
somehow a hardcore track in a way.
Overall, Horseshit on Route 66 is an album that reminds us there’s always room to explore,
especially in a genre with a history of puritanical self-preservation.