Sound — 9
Horse The Band, a Californian quientet that are usually referred to as "Nintendocore", have a sound unique amongst the increasingly-dull heavy music scene. The songs structures care change from one second to the next, and they often do, multiple times in the same song. The guitar lines are wandering and technical, yet are never self-indulgent. Bassist Andy Stokes provides solid basslines that are always amusing, and you can always hear them: suprisingly rare traits in music today. Synth-op Erik Engstrom provides rich textures over each of the songs in the album, and they usually have a sort-of NES sound to them. Drummer Jason Karuza provides insane drumming that is spastic and insane, which perfectly lends to the usuall schitzophrenic song structure. Although the nature of the songs is random, it's completely progressive and sheds the band of the "Nintendocore" tag (at least this record), and provides a refreshing new sound in the post-hardcore realm.
Lyrics — 9
Singer Nathan Winneke's lyrics range from esoteric and creative ("The masses meld/the titans come! /this crowd torn asunder/to the quivering mass/they smile down upon me/and devour my face and head!" from the opener "Seven Tentacles and Eight Flames"), to comical and goofy (See "Cutsman" and "Immense Defecation of the Buntaluffigus" as proof), to just plain bizzare (Near the end of "Stabber's of the Knife, by Kenny Pelts", Winneke screams, "Writing Pagan poetry on my birthday card/another damn birthday card/Splinters!/Splinters!/writing holiday commentary"). Winneke is quite the versatile vocalist in the heavy music scene, going from impossibly high screachs, to death metal lows. However, he tends to scream more than sing.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this is an amazing album by an amazing band. Horse seem to have found the cure to generic, overproduced poser music with their brand of frantic, creative post-hardcore. This album is a must-have for any fan of heavy music, and shows the absolutely masterful musicianship of these musicians. Although still a bit of an aquired taste, what with their (constantly) changing tempos and slighly poor production, it is still an amazing musical achievment.