Live Reviews

Horse The Band – Live

London Camden Underworld

On entering the Underworld at the painfully un-rock n’ roll hour of 8pm, it’s heartening to see that the majority of those present have forsaken the comfort of bar area to go and watch Latitude. It proves a wise decision, as the band’s thunderous post-rock assault proves highly compelling; with musical self-indulgence kept to a minimum in favour of cavernous riffs that seem to burst out of nowhere and threaten to swallow you up. Promising stuff.

It seems odd that Rolo Tomassi aren’t more widely known, given that the likes of the NME have given them their seal of approval. That said, it’s unlikely that the electro/punk hipster crowd will be warming to the Sheffield crew anytime soon, not least because Rolo Tomassi are fucking terrifying. They mix ultra-abrasive, polyrhythmic hardcore à la Converge with all manner of disjointed electronic trickery; the end result sounding like a computer not so much breaking down as fighting back. Uneasy listening? Yes, and impressively so.

Horse The Band have been dubbed ‘Nintendocore‘, due to keyboard player Erik Engstrom’s use of Game Boy sound chips to replicate the sound of early video games. Call them what you will, but it’d take a churlish punter to deny that an evening with Horse The Band are about as much fun as you can have with your (very sweaty) clothes on. Although they have little more than a cult following on these shores, said cult is highly dedicated; kicking up a maelstrom in the pit and roaring along to the likes of ‘Cutsman‘ (influenced by the ‘Mega Man‘ video game, no less) with the fervour of an over-caffeinated child clamouring for their Playstation back.

You with the freakishly long arms – quit trying to grab my balls!” growls vocalist Nathan Winneke; a man blessed with a wonderfully sarcastic sense of humour. Well, sir, if you will let your bassist prance around in a ridiculously tight vest and short shorts, you can’t blame us all for feeling a bit, erm, frisky. By the time HTB close with the disco stomp of ‘Sex Raptor‘ (!), it’s clear that they’re treading a fine line between the sublime and the ridiculous. Fortunately, they’re doing it very well.

Alex Gosman