EP REVIEW: HORSE The Band – Your Fault

Release Date: November 27th 2020
Label: Ratgirl Records
Website: None available
Facebook: www.facebook.com/horsetheband
Twitter: www.twitter.com/horsetheband

Rating:

For the uninitiated, HORSE The Band have been a recurring outlier in the metal and hardcore scenes since they first formed over two decades ago. Jokingly self-described as “Nintendocore”, the moniker has since stuck for better or for worse. It’s a simple yet effective term when attempting to illustrate the emotive, bizarre, quirky, unhinged, aggressive 8-bit video game tinged artcore the group excel in.

Now, while never officially announcing any form of hiatus, the minimal social media presence, increasingly sparse tour dates, and the lack of any new music since 2009’s ‘Desperate Living’ have all proved clear indicators as to the status of the band. Since teasing new material back in 2017, fans have been waiting eagerly for a new release, even donating to a crowdfunding campaign in order to assist in production costs.

Three long years and a global pandemic later, the world has its first new HORSE The Band material in over a decade with their ‘Your Fault’ EP. Before addressing the work itself, one initial point that must be made is how unfortunately anti-climactic the project seems. At three tracks and little over a ten-minute runtime, it already feels like quite a brief returning release when considering how much time has elapsed since their last album.

On top of that, when you consider that the closing track is a rendition of ‘March Of The Pigs’ by Nine Inch Nails, you can’t help but ask the question: how has it seriously taken eleven years to produce two new songs and a cover?

As for the cover itself, it kicks all sorts of ass, proving a perfect example of one band managing to blend their own identity with that of the original artist, simultaneously making the track their own while remaining faithful to the industrial classic.

The two original cuts are expectedly frenetic, dynamic, and as frantically tongue-in-cheek yet unabashedly sincere and fearful as ever. ‘A Reason To Live’ is a blisteringly groovy testament to the rediscovery of purpose and anxiety of wasting one’s life. Vocalist Nathan Winneke keeps hollering about getting back to feeling alive before dealing the most apt and personable blow of 2020, “You got one fucking life / You shit in its mouth / You’re fucking garbage / It’s your fault.”

Musically as refined and unhinged as ever, it’s motivating to hear Winneke so concerned with having one life. Hopefully, ‘Your Fault’ is merely the mission statement for a more grandiose return somewhere down the line (less than eleven years, preferably).