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Horton’s Wrath ’88

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Rick TylerRick TylerDrums
George BennettGeorge BennettBass
Ben XavierBen XavierGuitar and Vocals
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Armed with weapons of massive garage rock, Horton’s Wrath tore open the rock scene at Princeton University in the late ‘80s. Lead vocalist and guitarist Ben Hamburger ’90, bassist George Bennett, and drummer Rick Tyler ’88 did some serious rocking, lifting many a Princetonian brow along the way. As Will McKenna put it more than once: "What were you thinking?" Still not sure. But more importantly, the music was there, as each show found the boys banging and clanging their way through a smorgasbord of stop-and-go skewerings: of pop culture; of the neurotic behavior of the coeds adoring them from the audience; of the self-obsessed nature of rock n’ roll itself. With each guitar wail or Lou Reedian, half-sung-half-spoken-word delivery by Hamburger, Horton’s Wrath thrilled their beloved crowds with sugar-sweet hooks and intellectual jabs. Oh, giving blood is a noble thing; the royal family has the blood of kings; hemophilia is enhanced by inbreeding; my heart is broken and now I'm bleeding. Thus sings Hamburger in “Blood.” Every element of a Horton’s Wrath song seems carefully crafted to challenge its brainiac fans to keep up (Proof: the “Star Wars Theme" guitar solo from “Jenny’s on the Pill.” Listen for it). If you need to know more about Horton’s Wrath, consider this lyric from “Boyfriend From Hell:" She’s lying on top of me and she’s talking about feminist literary criticism of Karl Marx, who happened to be a gynecologist, and she’s in love with Karl Marx because he bears a strong resemblance to her boyfriend, whose best friend is Satan; her boyfriend from hell. Apparently, one day The Velvet Underground met The Modern Lovers, who in turn met The Violent Femmes, and somebody dumped in 10 points for extra credit. And so was born Horton’s Wrath. Sprinkle in some four-chord proto-post-new-wave jams and a serious dose of irony, and it's a party like it’s 1989.
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