HORSE The Band - Desperate Living

Album cover
Metalcore, Nintendocore
Vagrant Records
HORSE The Band
Desperate Living
HORSE The Band - Desperate Living Review rating:
3
User rating:
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Los Angeles is not a peaceful city; Horse the Band would be a shoe-in for ambassador if they. On Desperate Living HORSE uses kitsch accents and veiled lyrics to present a body of work teeming with discontent similar to their previous efforts. Add to this formula the sparing use of a clear knack for pop sensibility that had seemed more contrived on previous records like The Mechanical Hand. HORSE is not known to be so much the keeper of melodic composition, rather, they are an avant-guard conglomeration of restlessness and affliction spoken through screams, crashes, squeals, and intrusive thumps.

“Shapeshift” and “Desperate Living” both have Reznor-like interludes, which severs the dimensions of their own creativity. Given their expansion on the Tub Ring or Mr. Bungle-esque backdrop these influences come out of nowhere only to be herded back into HORSE’s signature sound. To define said tone in a single sentence or paragraph would depreciate the quality of musicianship that this band brings to the table. Outside of their “Nintendocore” keyboards, there are a plethora of mixes and matches between genres of music. Post-Hardcore, Surf Rock, J-Pop, Club, and dozens of other labels can be used to describe nearly any song on the album. Unpredictable writing and savvy have kept HORSE from being pigeonholed at any point in their career.

Desperate Living is less caustic than their previous offerings. There is a healthy amount of experimentation with very few boarders. “Arrive” begins much like a pop-punk anthem descends from popular grace with Meat Puppet vocal accents then transcends to a so-cal punk rocker. Other songs like “Science Police” and “Rape Escape” have focused directions, though both songs are drastically different from each other. The beauty of HORSE the band is not in their cacophony, it is in their ability to control the collisions of melodies and beats with precision. Though there is a great deal of mashing and pounding on the album there is also a pronounced patience which amplifies the intensity of the record in whole.

It takes a patient ear to filter through most of HORSE the band’s wherewithal. Without an open mind it is easy to dismiss Desperate Living as lackluster overall. This album reaches across platforms with dignity and ease to create a listening experience few could imagine, much less recreate.

1. Cloudwalker
2. Desperate Living
3. The Failure Of All Things
4. HORSE the song
5. Science Police
6. Shapeshift
7. Between The Trees
8. Golden Mummy Golden Bird
9. Lord Gold Wand of Unyielding
10. Big Business
11. Rape Escape
12. Arrive

Horse the Band is a band from Lake Forest, California that formed in 1999. They are known for their 8-bit Nintendo influenced sound combined with metalcore, which frontman Nathan Winneke once jokingly referred to as nintendocore. They are currently signed to Vagrant Records.

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