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Horse The Band - A Natural Death Review

by Mike Rapin

There comes a time in every man's life where he has to decide. May it be on whether or not he should save himself or his girlfriend or if he should get a jelly donut or bear claw, he has to decide. This is the case with HORSE The Band's newest album A Natural Death. To fully understand the predicament I am in, I must give you some back story.

Beginning back two or maybe three years back, I had heard of HORSE The Band on Headbanger's Ball on MTV2. Lame, yes, but it only began there. After a while I had let them sit in the back of my mind. It wasn't until I acquired a copy of R. Borlax that I appreciated the incredible mix of Nintendo-ish keyboards and extreme breakdowns rattled with sheer insane screams.

Songs like 'Cutsman' and 'Bunnies' made me fall in love immediately. It was then that I proceeded onto The Mechanical Hand. This album made me realize that HORSE The Band was really about fun, break-your-skull-with-breakdowns type music. Then the Pizza EP came. Holy hell on a steel scythe do I love this album. To think that a band would drop off a tour because of pizza and then write an album about it... that's just... just... the way HORSE The Band does things. All in all, I seriously do laugh when I listen to these three albums (I have a few other albums too, but for times-sake I'll continue on).

And then came the day that I was presented with this very pre-released version of A Natural Death. I had done some reading on the album and was a bit thrown by this quote from keyboardist Erik Engstrom which, if I may sum up, basically said "This album is going to be about some serious sh*t." Obviously, I wasn't too sure how to take this. Could he joking, or perhaps were HORSE taking things in a new direction?

So I played the album. There is some random sh*t on this album, I'll say that. Maybe it's for 'dramatic effect,' or it just might be for the sake of being random. The music felt the same and the lyrics were as random as usual (minus any kind of video game reference--unless I somehow missed one...) but things seemed just a bit out of place. And really, I think it was that damn quote.
A lot of the time, when I hear an album, especially from a band that I am a fan of, I try to listen to it as often as I can to get it in my head. In the case of this album, it took me over a month to do that. It's strange, but at times this album is just hard to get into. Again, it was that damn quote! But, as I said, things are still HORSE The Band, and they have crazy awesome breakdowns, strange 8-bit video game keyboards thrown into mix with f**king random vocals.

Aside from my strange feelings, I do like this album a lot. I made my decision. I really do think the album is worthwhile. Things get damn crazy, and every time I listen to the album I get one more song better. I will close this baby up with some quick words: This is not anything like R. Borlax or the Pizza EP; the feeling is way different, but nevertheless it is very good. I wouldn't say things are a step up or a step up, but maybe a step into a new direction, one definitely not expected by me.

Track Listing:
1. Hyperbolia
2. Murder
3. The Startling Secret Of Super Saphire
4. The Beach
5. Face The Bear
6. Crickets
7. New York City
8. Sex Raptor
9. The Red Tornado
10. Crow Town
11. Treasure Train
12. His Purple Majesty
13. Kangarooster Meadows
14. Rotting Horse
15. Lif

Get more Rapin at http://www.mikerapin.com/

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Horse The Band - A Natural Death


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