Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The Devil's Horns Kill The Matador, a sprawling group of kids from the Philadelphia area, could be likened to the cutest, Decemberists-looking, hippie toddler you can picture. Form that image in your mind, of the smile and the bleached blonde hair, the cool, rootsy clothes for kiddos and freeze it there, for it's about to change. It's this same kid, who catches and holds you off-guard, ready to bend down for a, "Hey little buddy, give me five," right before he destroys all that you thought you knew about appearances and the rapidity with which a child can be infected with angst and pessimism. Suddenly, in a blink of an eye, the child's eyes have turned into piercing red dots and the smile has transformed into a maniacal smirk that you'd cross to the other side of the street to avoid - it and whatever else was attached or associated with it. It immediately sends shivers down your shaking spine as all of your intuition has been uprooted. You know not what this child, this formerly innocent and fetching child is capable of doing or carrying out. He could be capable of pillaging. He could be capable of cruelty and destruction that cannot be described with words or screams. It's this split-second of changeover from the charming to the threatening that is The Devil's Horns Kill The Matador. It seems to stand to our reasoning that the band is actually the Devil and we might be the matadors from the phrase. If we're not being careful, we will be gored. We will be destroyed in a hurry if we underestimate what it's capable of doing. The music starts in soft and cool before bursting into flames, as if everything's been doused in gasoline and satan-ized. There's much agitation and even more ire spewing out of the words, turning pregnant air into some kind of acid rain that hurts like hell when it strikes the bare skin. Seconds after the droplets land, you look down to your arms and you can see through them, the holes having worn straight through the hide and the bone. Discussed therein are themes of desertion and deception. People, lots of people have been hurt. It's the epidemic that has warped these young people and they're fighting back with bloody vocal cords and knuckles, along with steely-eyed staring and outbursts that ring for weeks.