Horse the Band’s music sounds like a demented soundtrack to Castlevania. The California five-piece refers to its sound as “Nintendocore,” recreating those infamous 8-bit sounds of early video games into a bizarre version of metal music. Keyboardist Erik Engstrom even plays a Game Boy on last year’s Desperate Living, whose dozen songs seem to be inspired by two new visions: the John Waters movie of the same name (a creepy, campy lesbians-on-the-lamb film) and the upheaval the band has experienced after 2007’s A Natural Death (involving three drummers, three agents, two bassists, a bunch of labels, and a lawsuit). Desperate Living is full of frustrations from a band that’s a little too weird to really make it big — mixing a fury of hardcore, noise rock, and electro into music that kinda sounds like dying robots. Frontman Nathan Winneke’s voice is more harsh and guttural (he’s starting to find his death growl), while the band’s sound expands with guests Jamie Stewart (the Xiu Xiu frontman lends his voice to “Shapeshift”) and Valentina Lisitsa (a Ukrainian classical pianist who plays in “Rape Escape”). Horse the Band are also known for berserk live performances and insanely long tours. Most of their new songs were inspired by 2008’s Earth Tour, where they traveled 40 countries, self-promoting and self-financing gigs around the globe. Busy guys. Horse the Band with Endless Hallway and Oceana play Peabody's at 7 p.m. Tickets: $10 advance, $12 day of show.—Keith Gribbins
Review the show at clevescene.com/concertscene
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