Following a tumultuous several months of hardships and hard work, once again restructuring the band for the second time in a year, NYC’s Thinning The Herd this week confirms the details of the band’s pending second full-length, “Freedom From The Known”.
Founding vocalist/guitarist Gavin Spielman had replaced the crew on TTH’s 2011-released debut full-length, “Oceans Rise”, recruiting a new rhythm section in 2012 with bassist Wes Edmonds and drummer Rick Cimato (ex-Locked In A Vacancy). The ultra-solid new lineup honed the newest songs, and shipped out to Chicago last Summer to record the sophomore album “Freedom From The Known” at Electrical Audio Studios with studio guru Steven Albini. The trio filmed a new video for the album, and as they were preparing to release the best Thinning The Herd material yet, Rick Cimato was tragically killed in a head-on collision over the 2012 holiday season.
Mourning the loss of their friend, Spielman and Edmonds hosted several local listening parties of the album for local fans and friends to honor Rick and his family, then started the process of bringing yet another lineup together to execute the new songs live, proudly, as Cimato would have wished. Spielman recently crossed paths with Brooklyn drummer Garth Macaleavey, and after hitting it off, brought Garth into the Thinning The Herd camp.
With nearly forty-five minutes of brand new material, the varied “Freedom From The Known” continues the Thinning The Herd tradition of avoiding genre pigeonholing, merging their blues, jam, sludge and NYHC influences into their expansive doom/rock foundation. Lyrically the band explores as wide an array of topics; surviving everyday life, achieving a higher consciousness through transcendentalism, the existence of alien and otherworldly life forms and more. This is where party-hard buildups melt into boundary-free jam sessions; Thinning The Herd is the pinnacle of prime underground New York City rock. “Freedom From The Known” is out on the band’s own Saint Marks Records, just as their previous EP and “Oceans Rise” full-length currently reside.
Gavin offered these thoughts on “Freedom From The Known”
This record (Freedom From the Known) was written over several years, after going through a bunch of friendships and lineup changes – I knew I had to create a record reflecting my acceptance of working alone in music, in becoming a bandleader and not a team member. After a trip to Alaska in 2011, I found I had written Freedom From the Known – and came back hopeful to record with Steve Albini – I was already booking a tour, when the band fell apart.
My drummer Ben decided it was time to go back to school, while my bassist Nick – (who is one of the most amazing guitarists in New York, and now plays in the L.I. band Moontooth), who was just filling in and wound up staying for 2 years – got swept up by a Brooklyn Hipster band for a European tour. That night I went out drinking and met Wes – who has been playing Bass for TTH since, he also mixed the record. The next day Rick Cimato called me knowing I was looking for a drummer – and TTH 2.0 was formed. It was that easy, I did not sweat over the lineup change – and subsequently opened myself up to record Freedom From the Known with inspiration – with people who wanted to play it. All the music was already written by the time Rick and Wes entered the band – and this makes me proud to be able to create something worthy of other peoples time and money.
When we finished recording and mastering Rick died. I was going to pull the plug – but the record and my love for life pulled me to completing this thing. The message in this record, before Rick died – was to engage the Unknown, to go the path not usually taken. I trust in light and sound, in music and love, as well as darkness and death – and hope to put this into the music.
Since then we have moved on – Wes is still playing bass, and Garth Macaleavey is on drums. Garth also plays guitar and writes music. One funny thing is – Garths old bassist was also pilfered – by the same hipster that took mine.
The band sounds better than ever now. The live shows and rehearsals are super tight. I am looking forward to this being the final shift in rolls – and the best lineup possible.
Pick up their music here