HORSE The Band - The Mechanical Hand
KOCH Records
Hardcore/Metalcore/Alt. Rock/Nintendo
13 songs ()
Release year: 2005
HORSE The Band, KOCH Records
Reviewed by Daniel
Surprise of the month

When I read the promo sheet that came with this album I was ready to destroy them in the review. Nintendo-based experimental hardcore; I could only laugh at the idea. You see, with all those trendy bands out there trying to be the “next big thing” of the world of screamo / emo / Metalcore / latest trend, we get a heap of shite bands just jumping into the wagon adding something “original” into the mix in order to “stand out” from the crazy amount of posers manufacturing music. And my bet was that all this Nintendo-core mumbo jumbo was this band’s way of getting attention from lame magazines and noticed by all the scene kiddies out there buying the latest trendy albums at Hot Topic.

Well, I got sucker punched. The Mechanical Hand is in fact a very cool and original album. The album offers a lot variety, excellent musicianship and some killer original ideas. Imagine a Hardcore band borrowing a bit of Metal, Alt. Rock, Punk and adding 8 bit Nintendo keyboards to the mix. The result: a band that can be sounding like old school AFI at times, like a less chaotic version of The Blood Brothers or The Dillinger Escape Plan at others and even like (*GULP*) The Killers at moments! So no, the Nintendo touch is not what makes this band unique but one of the many elements that does.

There seems to be a new wave of bands that think it’s cool to play 20 different genres in the same 4 minute song and that suck, because instead of adding depth or texture to the song they only manage to create something similar to a collage done by a 4 year old. Well, HORSE The Band (remember, not the animal) does manage to change the song’s direction in a noticeable way, yet subtle way which keeps the album fresh and the listener engaged. Adding some very nice Pop-ish choruses or maybe an atmospheric guitar passage all of a sudden, The Mechanical Hand is a bag full of tricks.

Not everything is peaches and cream with these guys though, sometimes the cheesy 8 bit keyboard can and will get on your nerves, and the hardcore vocals and screams are something you’ll have to get used to, but overall this a very enjoyable experience.

The album is quite lacking in Metal at moments to be honest, so I’m not sure how the Metal crowd will take this (and why I’m reviewing it for that matter… but we try to review all promos that are sent and this one peeked my particular interest so meh…), but fans of stuff like The Blood Brothers, Converge or even The Dillinger Escape Plan will love it. Metal purists, proceed with caution.

Killing Songs :
Daniel quoted 80 / 100
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