HORSE the Band


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Listeners may not always agree on the positive or negative merits of Horse the Band's bizarre brand of "Nintendocore," but the resourceful Californians have struck upon one thing that everyone can agree on: pizza! And so it has come to pass that 2006's Pizza EP is packaged to look like a pizza box, inside of which there's a CD painted just like a pizza (pepperoni, yum!) and containing five songs about -- you guessed it -- pizza! The first pair, "Anti-Pizza" and "Crippled by Pizza" offer the band's trademark recipe melding bubbly synths and extreme deathcore bordering on math metal -- essentially what Devo would sound like if they merged with the Dillinger Escape Plan (or perhaps Faith No More, if they'd carried on past 1996). However, on the ensuing "Werepizza" (a harrowing tale of a half-man, half-, well, you know) the band delves into turgid, nightmarish, at times ambient soundscapes, interrupted here and there by thrashy freak-outs or gothic melodies; possibly too many toppings for some listeners. The band soon returns to typically wacky business with the Delta House shout-along "Pizza Nif," however, and then closer "T.M.N.T." narrowly avoids wrecking the pie-shaped conceptual continuity by baking the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme with more pizza references -- and a Shakespearean quote! Crazy? Perhaps, but then, that's Horse the Band for you. When all is said and done, perhaps there will be some listeners who remain unconvinced by all this sonic bedlam; but you know what they say about pizza being like sex: if it's good, it's great; if it's bad, it's still pretty good.

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