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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews

Horse The Band

Live in Dekalb, Illinois, April 15th, 2007

Review by Travis Jensen

Have you ever heard of dissonant techno-metal? Neither had I, until I saw Horse The Band on April 15th. I managed to get my hands on a copy of Horse’s The Mechanical Hand recently, so I knew what kind of music to expect, but knew nothing about their stage show.

The first thing I noticed, as I do of any show that I go to, is the people. Almost every one of them was under the age of 21, probably still in high school, so I felt pretty old as I wandered through the crowd with a beer in my hand and a Motorhead back-patch that was stitched to the back of my leather vest. However, there was a high level of energy that still permeated through the air from the mosh-pit from the last group, so I knew that I was in my element. As the previous band cleared out their gear, the curtains closed and the members of Horse... began to set up their stage with the microphones on. The sounds of joking conversation made for interesting ear candy as the anticipation to see them began to rise. As the crowd grew thicker, I knew that I had to find a good vantage point to check these guys out, so I grabbed a spot next to some amps next to the wall.
     
As the curtains opened, the first thing I noticed was a an unexpected stage set, trees that lined behind the back of the band. The first song began with such a raw energy, that I thought I was going to be trampled. I had to snap a few pictures, so I had to maintain my composure. As I hopped up on a chair to get a better view, I saw something that I’ve never seen incorporated in a metal show before…a deviled egg playing a triangle jumping around the stage. This was one of several entertaining antics throughout the night, as a taco and a pizza were also part of the gig as sidekicks. This explained the reason why I saw someone in the audience dressed in a makeshift taco costume.
     
Once you have taken in what is on the stage, the music of Horse... is something to be appreciated, especially if you like it fast and loud. Keyboards, keyboards and more keyboards are incorporated into the band’s “Nintendocore” sound that definitely pulls them apart from any typical metal band into a sound of their own. This isn’t your mama’s keyboards and isn’t anything for the timid, as these are pounding, rhythmic punches in the face that put you in a frantic trance. Put this together with the screaming vocals of front man Nathan Winneke, and what you have is ear-blasting metal that is out of this world where each song has an individual quality that makes it different from the last. The small breaks between each number left just enough time for Weinneke to let off a little steam with a few wise-cracks to the crowd.
       
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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