Context – driving home
HORSE the Band used to be the freshest band on the town. Fresher than every band without a horse, of course. Fresher than most bands with horses, as well. And that’s just getting into the title.
I have super fond memories of rocking the fuck out to R. Borlax and The Mechanical Hand. Once you get past the gimmicks of EP’s about pizza, the chip-tunes based synths, and the absurdity of Nathan Winneke’s voice you’re left with a solid metalcore band with a real grasp on the fundamentals. Their tone never fell into the djent trap that was beginning to take hold of the genre, but their sense of rhythm was always spot on, which lead to some of the more memorable breakdowns I can recall.
Desperate Living is mostly true to form, but there’s an element of pop that has started to creep in. They still use the same synths, the guitar still sounds the same, but the rhythm feels off. The breakdowns are lackluster. There’s a lot of reverb on this project which kind of hollows out the sound.
There are some moments in songs that I really enjoyed and brought me back to the good ol’ days, but most of my listening experience was forward leaning expecting the same glory I remembered from “Cutsman”, “Birdo”, and “Lord Gold Throneroom”. That and the lyrical quality isn’t as off-the-wall as it used to be.
Maybe they’re getting older. Maybe I’m getting older and losing my patience. But either way it makes me sad that we’re drifting apart in where my expectations used to meet their aesthetic. I’m going to give this another go with less hype built into it to see if a bit of a cool-down helps me readjust to what HORSE the Band rode in on, but I think I’ll stick to their classics for now.