Listen Up: Tuesday, July 03, 2007
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Horse The Band

A Natural Death
(Combat Records)

By Justin Press

Without a stitch of melody or commitment to anything resembling rhythm, Horse The Band creates the ultimate pop quiz for your ears. Listening to A Natural Death, you might find yourself stumbling for references — other than Mike Patton vanity projects or the cacophony for which Frank Zappa is labeled a “genius.” In other words, you won’t be shaking your ass near a jukebox to any of A Natural Death’s cuts anytime soon.
The aptly titled opener “Hyperborea” is an overindulgent, underdeveloped wreck that begins as a death-metal grind but finishes as stammering math-rock nonsense, the sound of a thousand hammers landing violently on your skull. “The Startling Secret of Super Sapphire” (so cute) is pure scremo, another genre for the musically inept — it cowers behind the shield of progression but is nothing more than notes piled on top of one another in no particular order.
Horse The Band may lack musical invention but not Casiotone beats: “Sex Raptor” is The Human League gone super kinky, while the death-dance of “Kangarooster Meadows” barnstorms the world of campfire singalongs — you can almost see the ants fucking.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with self-indulgence. But when it comes to art, economy typically rules, the ability to say more with less. On A Natural Death, Horse The Band says a whole lot, but you probably won’t remember a damn thing.


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