HORSE the band – Desperate Living


Album

Desperate Living

Label

Roadrunner Records

Year

2009

For Fans Of

Super Nintendo – Go! With Fourteen O – Sky Eats Airplane

Summary

Super Mario Brothers meet Between the Buried and Me, and seem to like each other.

Rating

80 / 100

This band have a very unique sound, one that has certainly taken plenty of criticism for releases such as ‘A Natural Death’. Without the constant 8-bit synthesizers, this album could be really incredible. With several intense riffs, and a wide mix of experimentation, “Desperate Living” covers all bases. Due to the unfortunate similarity to Nintendo®’s Wii console, HORSE’s previous albums lose the novelty effect after a few listens. However, “Desperate Living” shows the metal/thrash/mathcore band taking themselves seriously, sounding better than on any previous release.

 

The change in HORSE’s sound is obvious with the start of “Clockwork”, which shows the bands technical music ability to be very impressive indeed. ‘Clockwork’ has some very impressive instrumental patterns to it, showcasing the best of bands like Between the Buried and Me, however, in my opinion, the 8-bit video game sound takes things a little too far, forcing an unimpressed feeling into listeners. Most of this album seems to have synth and thrash metal fighting each other for spotlight. 

 

This album is not easy to listen to, and the constant change in tone of music in The Failure of All Things gives perfect evidence to this. I would like to listen to this song without the synthesizer, as I think it could be one of the most well-put-together songs I’ve heard in a long time. The strength of the breakdown in “HORSE the Song” really shows the bands strong backbone, while the inclusion of rapper “K-SLAX” further progresses their diversity as a complete outfit.

 

‘Science Police’ is interesting, with an impressive change in vocal style that has a semi-80’s pop sound to it. Now that I really think about it, the beginning of this song is similar to Marilyn Manson’s cover of “Sweet Dreams” originally by the Eurythmics. Towards the end of this song, you may start wondering what the hell you are listening to.  

 

Synth samples at the start of ‘Between the Trees’ has a Kylie Minogue-esque sound to it, before moving again to more impressive metal work. ‘Golden Mummy, Golden Bird’ and ‘Big Business’ show the more melodic side of HORSE, a welcome change in sound.

 

The album ends on a wonderful note, with ‘Rape Escape’ & ‘Arrive’. ‘Rape Escape’ can be seen as a very fitting title for a song that moves from synth to intense thrash metal to Katy Perry style dance beats, and to cap it all off, HORSE deliver an amazing grand piano solo.

 

However awkward this blend might sound, and many of you may think that it is the worst thing in music, however this song flows incredibly well. HORSE could not have ended the album with a better song. I’m not going to discuss ‘Arrive’ more than this: listen to this song as it is the pick of the album. 

Conclusion

It is not easy to review this album, with so many different aspects to look at, HORSE the band are a band that will greatly impress their current fans, but the overuse of synth will probably prevent the haters turning. If this band decide to release a synth-free album, it may just be the release of the decade.

Tracklisting

1. Cloudwalker

2. Desperate Living

3. The Failure Of All Things

4. HORSE the song (ft. K-SLAX)

5. Science Police

6. Shapeshift (ft. Jamie Stewart)

7. Between The Trees

8. Golden Mummy Golden Bird

9. Lord Gold Wand Of Unyielding (ft. Lord Gold and His Purple Majesty)

10. Big Business (ft. Ed Edge)

11. Rape Escape (ft. Valentina Lisitisa)

12. Arrive

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