The Garden releases ‘Horseshit on Route 66’

Experimental punk duo, The Garden, releases their fifth album

Malaki Lingg, Assistant Web and Social Editor

Two years ago, Wyatt and Fletcher Shears of The Garden, released their fourth album, “Kiss My Super Bowl Ring” (“KMSBR”). Mixing 80’s inspired hardcore with a multiplicity of playful electronics, the album creates an incredibly fun and unique experience. With their previous tour being pushed back over a year due to COVID-19 and a two-year gap since the prior release, “Horseshit on Route 66” brings what fans have been waiting for. 

“Horseshit on Route 66” takes the sound that The Garden has become known for — punchy bass, glitchy electronics and high-paced drumming — and introduces more themes from various styles of punk rock, spooky stories and electronic music. Alongside an expansion of their admittedly campy, physical theme, their new album creates a unique experience for fans. 

While their previous album, “KMSBR,” had them doting dark and edgy outfits, wielding swords and surrounded by grime, their new release shifts their vision elsewhere. The album cover depicts the duo decorated in studded leather, flannel, bandanas, fingerless gloves and their iconic mainstay, jester makeup. Giving us their personal vision on retro, Orange County Punk fashion. 

The album’s intro track, “Haunted House on Zillow,” which can only be described as Halloween garage punk, is backed with eerie piano, interesting dialogue about spirits and ghoulish moans before it proceeds to open into the full instrumental and lyrics. 

“Haunted House on Zillow” leads perfectly into the next track, “OC93,” with the band’s signature sound of hardcore punk oozing from this song. 

After “OC93” we enter “Puerta de Limosina,” which only expands further upon that hardcore punk heard through the two previous tracks. 

The proceeding track and first of the three singles released prior to the album, “Freight Yard,” slows down the tempo and gives a very sentimental song compared to the majority of the album. 

Following “Freight Yard,” the pace picks up, entering into the title track and highlight of the album, “Horseshit on Route 66,” consisting of a melodic guitar riff, hard-hitting 808s and intense drumming. Throughout the song, the bassline is phased in and out; just adding to the excitement and fun this track ensues. 

Making it to the halfway point of the album is when the chaos fully ensues. The track, “What Else Could I Be But a Jester,” showcases The Garden at their most experimental. Composed of futuristic synth, radar-esque electronics and warped bass that sounds strangely similar to flicking a ruler hanging off of a desk. Though this song is not for everyone, if you are looking to broaden your music taste, I suggest giving this track a listen. 

The following track, “X in the Dirt” opens with its chorus and upbeat guitar while leading into blast beats and electronics before leading back into the chorus. 

The next two tracks, “Orange County Punk Rock Legend” and “Chainsaw the Door,” are two fun and infectious tracks. Being two out of three of the singles released prior to the album, they showcase the fun experimentality while remaining tame enough to garner popularity from an unassuming crowd. This could not be further from the truth for the next song, full of slow hard hitting bass lines, creepy groaning and unique lyrics to say the least. 

The final track, “At the Campfire,” opens with a sample of YouTube icon, Jacksepticeye, saying “top of the morning” followed by a witches cackle and a spunky bass line. Once the chorus comes in, some simple acoustic guitar is added to help give the song the feeling of it being played at a campfire. The track gives a perfect end to the album; with something sweet and not too aggressive as compared to previous tracks. 

With The Garden claiming to be a part of a genre called “Vada Vada,” described as the complete freedom of expression without any guidelines, this album encapsulates that philosophy perfectly. From the campy, spooky theme, hardcore electronics, energetic drums and spunky bass, this is one of the most unique albums to release this year. I could not recommend giving this album a listen any more than I already do. I believe there is at least one track throughout this album for everyone, whether that be “Chainsaw the Door” or “X in the Dirt.” 

“Horseshit on Route 66” is streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and more. For more from The Garden, check out their previous albums and upcoming tour, which makes a stop in San Antonio, at the Aztec Theatre, on Nov. 8.