First, we must get the facts straight. I was supposed to have this review of Greg Horn's Have Mercy Upon My Soul done weeks ago. NUVO's music editor Jeff Napier gave me a firm deadline right there in the basement of NUVO. I full-heartedly accepted. A thought of “I’ll show you fucker” even crossed my mind. However, I believe that when the time is right, it’s right.
I did have notes, more like chicken scratch on a computer screen, but notes nonetheless. Some were clear as day, and some were murky as fuck with the stench of being crossfaded written all over it. I will admit I was locked and fairly loaded when I allowed my ears to be penetrated by Greg Horn’s CD. It was after a Punk Rock Night at the Historic Melody Inn. I actually came home early that evening just to listen to this CD. That never happens. After all, I did have a deadline and showing Napier the fuck up is always on my agenda.
I was the perfect amount of high and drunk. Silly and feeling inspired, I went through the ritual of gathering all the essentials; ashtray, smokes, whiskey (I would have preferred vodka, but what can you do), lighter, Have Mercy Upon My Soul and my trusty laptop. Now to find a device to play this fucking CD on. This was a sad moment for me. How could I not have something to play this shit on? CD players used to be LIFE! I wouldn’t have survived my adolescent life without one. Thankfully, a few weeks back, I found my Red Sony Walkman Disc Player while cleaning out my basement and I snatched that bitch up and placed her on a shelf in my living room. Displayed her as if she was a piece of art or, like you would, the ashes of a loved one.
Finally, I was prepped and ready to listen to a CD through the disc man that I haven’t fucked with since probably high school, nearly 16 years ago. When I remember. Earbuds. It has to be wired, at that. Fuck. So again I’m on a goddamn search around my clown of a house. I eventually found some.
I slapped that CD in the player, plugged in those buds, and slid them in place. I hold down the play button. Nothing. Then I question if there was an on/off button on this thing, but whatever. I pressed the buttons and got it to work. 26 tracks. 70 minutes and 52 seconds. Oh shit, I thought. I’m in for the long haul. The battery sign is at one cell. Better get on it. I opened up the laptop, lit up a smoke, and took a drag off the whiskey.
My notes from said night with some minor edits:
Track one. Vibration, like you're reprogramming me. Breaks you from whatever you were thinking about previously.
Second track. What in the actual fuck am I listening to? Is this whole CD going to be like this? Again, vibrational frequencies, it’s the type of shit you’d meditate to.
Track 3. Yes, after 1 minute 48 seconds, it’s track three, and I’m still wondering what the fuck this is. Napier, you cheeky bastard. What have you set me up with?
How loud can this Disc player go? I turn it all the way up, and for your information, it goes fucking loud. Before you know it, it's track 7 because my attention span is garbage. Track 8 is loud, and you cannot help but be brought back in. A pattern that alters your state of thinking. I imagine getting electrocuted, or that moment you lose all your memories right after being completely choked out. If you know, you know.
Track 10! Am I in an ocean? Or inside the biggest ship in the sea. Refreshing vibes on this one. Like your power washing my dirty ass soul. This is what a sea shell should sound like when you put your ear up against it. Yup. Nailed it.
Track 11 is like I just got abducted, straight sucked up in that ship. And towards the end of the track, we go to an alien disco and play laser tag. It's starting to set in that perhaps I might be too high to listen to this.. and maybe making it more meaningful than what it is.. no.. fuck that. absolutely not.
Track 12. Glitch in the matrix. It makes my heart race. That, or the Adderall, is finally kicking in.
Track 14 is very windy. Track 15, power punch straight to the cranium.
Track 16 brings me back in I’m getting a rocker vibe here, and there are finally some words.
This is where I tried to take a break. But I couldn’t find a pause button on the damn thing. Then I ended up switching songs. And then, I swear to god, it didn’t matter what button I pressed; it switched to a higher song. So fuck it. I sit and listen. No breaks, no pauses. Honestly, if you broke this album up, I don’t think it would have the same effect.
Track 18. 8 more tracks to go. We can do this. More Jameson, triple distilled, smooth Irish whiskey made the John Jameson way since 1780. The battery on my walkman is blinking now. Just hold on a little longer, brave little walkman.
Track 20. Are we fading out? I feel like that's too easy. I suspect I'm about to get a punch in the face.
Track 22. We are back at the ocean. A glitchy ocean, though. I’m going to need you to wrap this up, Greg. I’d really like to take these earbuds out and digest what I’ve just absorbed for however long.
Okay, fuck track 23, folks. My first impression was waking up after a mushroom trip. Then the voice happens, and you completely mind fucked me again, Greg. How dare you? "Take over your satan. I’m working on it." The battery is blinking more rapidly. I swear to christ, if this thing dies before I finish this album, I will laugh my ass off. It would just be too… perfect.
My cat has no patience for your shit, Greg. And is pissed you’re the reason he hasn’t got his fancy feast yet.
I hate sitting this long, and so does my scoliosis and of course, track 23 is the longest song on the album.
Track 25 is laying it on hard now. This preacher reminds me of being in middle school. Southern Baptist Evangelist type of place in Martinsville.
Omg track 26!!!
We have arrived. How the fuck do you close this album out? You’re giving me that refreshing feeling again, like I took a shower. Now I’m under a waterfall, and I’m all fucked up and in a haze. I see some hot chick looking at me.. but I don’t know who she is or what is real. I get that sensation of coming to after being choked out again. The euphoric feeling of not knowing a damn thing.
Anyways, Greg, we are at 2 minutes 48 seconds; where are we going here? I need more Jameson.
That’s the last thing I wrote down. The cd player died. I didn’t make it through the whole track. I fucking knew it. And you know what, I still haven’t listened to it. I remember when I took the earbuds out, I felt different than when I first put them in. This album zap’d me out of my bullshit reality, and I felt as if I had disconnected from the world entirely.
After the fucker died, I finally opened the cd case up and read what was inside. A full explanation of what this album is. Huh, how convenient. Had I read that before listening to this album, I would have had a totally different perceptive and known what I was getting myself into. I’m glad I was too fucked up to think to do so though.
Greg Horn's Have Mercy is on my soul is an album you’ll listen to once and then never again. It’ll remind you that music is an experience. Even though that type of shit is not my jam, I’ll never forget it. This album took me on a journey, and I had no idea where I was going. I’ll never forget the mind fuck that took place from Greg and Jeff.
So here’s your fucking review, Napier. Late but who counting?
Thank you, Gregory Horn. Your album is exactly what I needed at that time and moment. It’s like when a bird shits on you. It’s something special.
Photos by Jerrica Ramathorn
Album artwork by Greg Horn