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Horse the Band w/ Endless Hallway, Oceana

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Critic's Pick Release Date: 2010-05-05

If the prophecy in the title of Refused’s 1998 masterpiece, The Shape of Punk to Come, had been correct, we’d have fewer bands that sound like castrated Buzzcocks and a lot more groups that sound like Horse the Band. HTB, which formed 1999, isn’t a carbon copy, by any means: They incorporate much more metal influence, and Erik “Lord Gold” Engstrom’s synth sounds more like a 16-bit Nintendo soundtrack, and that’s totally intentional. But like Refused, Horse the Band isn’t afraid to get experimental in their aggression, or to take a break from the frantic pounding to give a melodic interlude space to swell. The video-game influence is a lot less irritating than it sounds — you wouldn’t confuse it for chillcore or whatever the hell they’re calling it these days. The effect is closer to playing Double Dragon while listening to a Slayer album, and if that doesn’t sound awesome, you were never a 12-year-old boy. Need more convincing? Check out this quote lifted from the band’s biography. “We have horrible haircuts. We are ugly and dress horribly in a more endearing way than the bands you like.” $12, Sun, May 9, White Rabbit, 2410 N. St. Mary’s, (210) 737-2221, sawhiterabbit.com — Jeremy Martin

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