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Horse the Band - Desperate Living

  by Adrian Huggins

published: 26 / 9 / 2009



Horse the Band - Desperate Living
Label: Vagrant UK
Format: CD

intro

Essential fourth album from boundary-defying Californian Mathcore act, Horse the Band, whose music manages to be both intense and also good-humoured


Ah, Horse the Band. How does one go about writing about them? Cos, I ain’t got a clue! At times there are inspired moments of hardcore melody and mind-blowing time signatures, but mainly its like waking up in the middle of the night still in a really happy and dreamy state of mind then being slapped upside the head with a synth by a man with a beard grinning happily at you. That’s a good start I guess, but in short if experimental music is your thing then you should already know about these guys. Currently one of the hardest working and innovative bands out there with this being their fourth album since their first release in 2003, Horse the Band also recorded this album off the back of a self-booked and financed three month tour of the world which covering 45 countries. Just quickly name 45 countries...go on I dare you in thirty seconds without Google. I thought not. That is a feat in itself and two things seem evident from this fact A: This is probably why they are so tight and manage to play furious songs at speed while also managing to skip over any previously covered ground. B: All those countries and hard work might drive some folk insane, but probably that’s something that would inspire most people. The band are clearly trying to stretch themselves on ‘Desperate Living’ having developed their already unique sound which mixes up Dillinger Escape Plan and Rolo Tomassi Mathcore. All the while, however, they manage to sound a lot more ‘gettable’ than those acts upon first listen. It is a little bit like being thrown out of a plane with no parachute, but instead of being scared as you hurl towards the Earth having a really gentle cuddle with your lover all the way down. With their music you smile and enjoy the ride without noticing the seriousness and intensity of it all. Several guests are featured which adds to the eclectic feel of the album. These include Rapper K-Slx who appears on ‘HORSE the song’ which is one the heaviest and maybe more straight forward offerings here, Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu on ‘Shapeshift’ and most notably classical pianist Valentina Lisitsa who plays on the most challenging and ambitious track on the record ‘Rape Escape’. This latter track mixes beautiful moments with bone crunching riffs, all of which are fed into a piece by composer Prokofiev, which in its confused and earth shattering abrasiveness, fits perfectly into the song. Horse the band are an essential band who excel in pushing boundaries and keeping the heavier side of music exciting and intense, but do it all with a smile. I can’t reccomend this band and album highly enough.



Track Listing:-
1 Cloudwalker
2 Science Police
3 Shapeshift (feat. Jamie Stewart)
4 Between The Trees
5 Golden Mummy Golden Bird
6 Lord Gold Wand of Unyielding (feat. Lord Gold & His Purple Majesty)
7 Big Business (feat. Ed Edge)
8 Rape Escape (feat. Valentina Lisitsa)
9 Arrive



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