Sound — 7
You can tell by the genre "Nintendocore" (a name that HORSE the band eschew, but only enough so the can still make money off it) that The Mechanical Hand is not going to be for everyone. On the one hand, it should please the metalhands, because some of it is brutal. "A million exploding suns" stays true to its title, steadily gaining energy and power and climaxing in a huge ball of mind-boggling fire. On the other hand, this album really is packed to the brim with keyboard. You can tell in the production that the guitar really has taken a back seat, with frankly dull production. The nintendo-inspired synths are shiny and obvious, which will anger the metal-heads but will delight - dare I say it - the nerds. One particular point of interest is track 4, The House of Boo. This is an odd track because it does something absoloutely joyous and fresh to me: It has virtually no structure. It is one massive string of brutallity and fear, topped of with a little mellow platformer cool-down. Whilst the sound is quite frankly stupid, I am very attatched to it. Perhaps it is just me linking it to the time i started listening to horse, but the albums feels very summer-like to me, which is rare with metal bands.
Lyrics — 9
Bird... OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Wow, the lyrics. Like the sound, it's a case of "love 'em or hate 'em". I am personally addicted to the words (although they are sometimes difficult to decipher with Nathan Winnekes shouting/singing/screaming). Some of the lyrics really tickle me, for example, on House of Boo "I fear my blankets may not be the best/ defences that I could muster!". I hate to mention the Nintendo References, because they are used as metaphors by Nathan, but they will appeal to - dare I say it again - the nerds. But hey, whatever makes money, right?
Overall Impression — 9
I am a sensible music fan, I know good from bad. And whilst there are so many terrible things about this album (the horrible, unfitting instrumental track "Heroes Die" for a start), I love it with all my heart. The fact that these full-grown men have decided to start a hardcore band with the gimmick of sounding like a NES console truly touches my heart, in an embarrassing way. This is my overall favourite album from horse so far, possibly because "R. Borlax" is simply bad and sounds like it was recorded in a tin can, and that "A Natural Death", whilst having many brilliant songs, is so amazingly misguided the idea of calling it a concept album is laughable. But to be honest, if you're called HORSE the band you can pretty much get away with anything.