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Horse the Band - The Mechanical Hand Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 7
Production 7.5
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 6.5
Reviewer Tilt 7.25
Final Verdict: 74%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.1
Musicianship 9.75
Lyrics 9.55
Production 9.35
Creativity 10
Lasting Value 9.15
Reviewer Tilt 9.75
Average: 95%
Inside AP.net

Horse the Band - The Mechanical Hand

Reviewed by: Scott Weber (11/21/05)
HORSE the BandThe Mechanical Hand
Release Date: September 20, 2005
Record Label: Koch Records



Even if you haven’t heard Horse the Band, you’ve probably heard of them. Their reputation precedes them, known around the scene as that goofy “Nintendocore” band. While this is a laughable term, it’s essentially accurate as to the band’s sound. Heavy synth and keyboard effects are used throughout every song, and the riffs often sound like they are from an original NES game. Combine this with gang vocals, a frantic and guttural scream, and deliberate breakdowns, and the result is Horse the Band. Is it a joke? Is it legit? The answer to this frequently asked question is that it could very possibly be both. Even their website uses the Nintendo font, so it’s clear to see that they don’t exactly take themselves that seriously. Song titles like “Birdo” pay direct homage to NES games (in this case, Super Mario Brothers 2), but the talent is there beyond clever song titles and console references. One thing to establish about Horse the Band is that they’re very talented musicians, and it’s more than a joke.

When listening to The Mechanical Hand, you’ll laugh, you’ll nod your head, but most importantly, you’ll keep listening. Without the Nintendo-style effects, Horse the Band wouldn’t be anything spectacular. But the effects are layered so heavily that you can’t help but love the fluttering rhythms that the band uses with their keyboard lines. It truly emulates the Nintendo style of music perfectly, even down to the production and filters used on the keyboards.

Looking past the keyboards, the music itself is solid, but nothing incredible. Certain songs are heavy on the breakdowns; others (“Manateen”) diverge into more progressive territories like Bear vs. Shark would. The bottom line is that the album is entertaining. “The House of Boo” uses keyboard effects to essentially recreate being in a ghost house in Super Mario World. It’s hard to describe exactly what they do, but if you’re an avid gamer, you’ll laugh your ass off at how accurate they can recreate certain levels in games. I felt like I needed to keep looking over my shoulder to make that damn ghost cover his eyes and stop chasing me. The best part is that it’s all original, despite reminding you of a specific game or time.
While I give Horse the Band credit for being wildly original, the album/gimmick does wear thin after a little while. It’s hard to sit through the entire album without getting somewhat tired of it. 13 songs of the same kind of stuff is a bit much. While there’s variation between songs, they all have the same feel to them, and the vocals aren’t that great. The style of screaming on this record is pretty monotonous, and I could do without them. I love the hardcore influence on this record, but the vocalist’s range just seems to be pretty limited, and his singing voice is mediocre at best. That being said, if you can tune that out and focus on the guitar riffs and keyboard parts, you’re set. Just make sure you make it to the last track, “The Black Hole,” which is possibly the strongest on the record. Super heavy on the Nintendo riffs, this track seems to transplant sound effects from numerous games and stick them in the middle of the song. The album then ends with 2 people talking about the track, beginning with “That was great,” then proceeding to “It could have been a lot better,” and finally ending with a round of boos. Once again, Horse the Band does not take things too seriously.

Horse the Band is a hilarious band that deserves more credit than it receives. It’s not for everyone, and if you’re not into metal/hardcore, you’re going to have a hard time stomaching it. But for anybody that is a fan and used to play old school Nintendo, this is an album you should pick up.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 4 of 4.
10:55 PM on 01/05/06
#2
Emopunkthrice
Im fresh and positive
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I love horse the band
01:20 AM on 11/11/07
#3
D_99
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To the person who wrote the HORSE the band review... This may never end up reaching you, but all I have to say is that I think you are a complete fucking idiot. You missed the entire concept of the album and generalized their message. The songs on this CD are completely unique. They all use completely original song structure and instrumentation. The songs themselves only use Nintendo references as metaphor to describe actual events that took place. Only a fool would think that such awesome writing could only amount to a summary of a videogame. There is a lot more I could write here, but seriously, you suck.
08:28 AM on 11/23/09
#4
kevinAIWW
boner boner boner boner boner boner
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To the person who wrote the HORSE the band review... This may never end up reaching you, but all I have to say is that I think you are a complete fucking idiot. You missed the entire concept of the album and generalized their message. The songs on this CD are completely unique. They all use completely original song structure and instrumentation. The songs themselves only use Nintendo references as metaphor to describe actual events that took place. Only a fool would think that such awesome writing could only amount to a summary of a videogame. There is a lot more I could write here, but seriously, you suck.
Hence. The first track. BIRDO is about how the lead vocalists mother was beaten by his father for not eating the eggs that he had cooked for breakfast.. messed up childhood. But this sir is totally correct. Horrible review.
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