I think the entire story told within Horse the Band's albums all revolves around the concept of "The Greatest Weight" by Friedrich Nietzsche, you'll have to look that up yourself to read about it, but basically its like if the universe kept repeating itself, would you go crazy or would you make it work? HTB did a song called "The Greatest Weight" which basically used the entire passage of the original. This song was one of their firsts songs which was on a demo before their first official full length album "R borlax". I think they wanted to kind of hide this key by not including it on R borlax and act like they didn't like the song.
So take that entire concept of the universe repeating itself and compare it to how their music sounds like video games come to life, like oh the universe keeps repeating itself and in video games you always die and restart and try something better than your last try, ok i'm listening.. So in the order these albums were released in, here's what happens in the story album by album..
R borlax is the hardest album to make sense of, I'll come back to it, but I think an overall theme is being helpless, scared and being attacked, and then wanting to transform into something stronger. I think but not sure yet, the character decides to turn himself into an android and wants to send himself back in time to stop something bad from happening. Or maybe its told from the 1st person perspective of an android, still not sure.
Their second album "The Mechanical Hand". The songs in order seem to have a hidden theme of physical density and physical experience. The first song "Birdo" is obviously about something very soft and frail and defenceless. And then just skipping in order, "octopus on fire" is about something kinda gooey with really hot pain, as opposed to "Lord Gold Throneroom" being all about pleasure. "A Million Exploding Suns" has the motion of expanding, as opposed to the song "The Black Hole" being condensing. "House of boo" well you can't touch a ghost. "Softer Sounds" its in its name. "Sand" has no form. "A Rusty Glove" is about being hansom and strong, as opposed to "Manateen" about being ugly and worthless.
There's alot more going on in The Mechanical Hand, but the main thing is that its progressing from the character being weak to being strong and mechanical. I think because the character plans on opening a black hole and entering it as described in the last song "The Black Hole".
The next part of the story is The Pizza EP, which is only 5 songs. Just in a nutshell I think this EP is about pizza made of anti-matter and perhaps the android/robot developing a sense hunger because of it. Its hard to explain, but the whole thing plays on the ideas of hunger, addiction, physical power, rejuvenation, and decision making.
The whole play on hunger and energy leads right into the next album "A Natural Death". The very first song is about being in a snow storm weak and hungry, and being reduced to savageness. It is very rare that the singer talks about the story at all, but in one interview (A reddit chat with fans) he describes that on a time line the events of A Natural Death basically all happen within The Black Hole. And I think later in the same interview he also says the next album "Desperate Living" picks up where The Black Hole left off and goes from there. It took me a long ass time to see this, but whats happening is A Natural Death is happening in reverse (in the black hole), it starts off in the dead of winter in the song "hyperborea", then goes backwards to fall hence in the song "Face of Bear" it talks about hunting for the coming winter. Then skip down to track 13 "Kangarooster Meadows" it starts off saying "on a warm summer day". Then think about the song "Desperate Living" when he says "bought a one way ticket back to july".
But months before I realized that, I realized something greater, that parallel things are happening between the two albums A Natural Death and Desperate Living like they're happening at the same time. But just like how Mechanical Hand was about physical densities and sensations, A Natural Death and Desperate Living are both about time. A Natural Death is about how time exists within nature, the seasons and cycles of nature and the earth, the incredible scale of time in outerspace, the relative time difference between a bear and a cricket, the wait of a hunt in the wild compared to the busy streets of new york city, and how time breaks when you enter the blackhole which is what I realized is happening in the song "I think we are both suffering from the same crushing metaphysical crisis" which is forever the coolest fucking song name of all time. So if you think about it, the song "The Black Hole" only talks about creating the blackhole, not going into it, so its like he's actually going into it in "metaphysical crisis" and then time loops backwards, over and over, because the album is a continuous circle, you hear the album ending with the same sounds it starts with, ok you get it.
And then Desperate Living is about how humans experience time separate from nature, such as thinking of the past and regretting, not wanting to live moments the same, running out of time, police slowing down the city, trying to remember things, lettings moments find you, etc. Every song on both albums has a different experience of time. After I realized there was a time reference in every song on both albums, I realized they're parallel because the nature time experiences in A Natural Death are affecting the human time experiences in Desperate Living. If you subtract the tracks from A Natural Death that aren't songs, the tracks lined up in order are parallel, and you'll see the events happening in A Natural Death are affecting whats happening in Desperate Living, the character is going back in time and trying to change things. But also I think its like the events of Desperate Living are replacing the events in Mechanical Hand, not sure if they're entirely parallel or if tracks should be rearranged, but compare how "birdo" is a pathetic creature and "cloudwalker" is a really optimistic hero. "Manateen" the character hates himself and I think "Horse the Song" he's in the band and feels like a badass. I think in "house of boo" the ghost is scary but in "desperate living" the character is trying to talk to the ghost. I'll write more comparisons later, I actually just realized this entire comparison between Mechanical Hand and Desperate Living right as I was typing this up.
So thats pretty much whats going on as far as the time line goes, there's alot more to the story, I think at the core of every song its really all about the guy trying to get the girl at the end of the day, doing what it takes, changing yourself to be desirable etc, wanting to undo things, etc. I'll come back and elaborate more and put more ideas in, but right now i'm high and thats all I can think of. Its a really incredible story, it took a long ass time and hundreds of listens before I actually caught on to all this, because the music itself is beyond amazing. But I actually figured out most of this without listening or reading the lyrics, it all happened last summer I was working this lame ass job building tasers on an assembly line with a bunch of old ladies. It was mind destroying and boring, I was so desperate to just space out and think of something interesting, I started running every horse lyric I could think of, and little by little I started having realizations.. Thanks for reading.
Ok ps, about a year ago when I was on a Horse loop (a loop is when I come back to a band for a short while until I force myself to listen to something else so I don't ruin their music by playing it out), I was thinking alot about the album Desperate Living, then one night I had a dream that I was a ninja turtle, I was hiding out in a little hole in the wall and walking around in an alley. The dream felt sad like it was mostly about being homeless. When I woke up, I think my thoughts about it was tying ninja turles, horse the band, and being poor and homeless all together, cause like in the song "desperate living" he talks about digging through garbage and then it sounds all toxic. Then later on when I realized all this about the time concept, I thought perhaps the song "desperate living" is sort of showing how time makes the difference between a homeless bum and a caveman, a caveman walking around being all homeless no body judges him and its whatever, but a man in modern time walking around homeless people will think he's a no good bum.
At some point in the year 2016 I had another realization, I think the Ghost EP is hidden within the Earth Tour book, either its a CD or its on a microSD card or something. I think if you slice open the book cover, or even the binding, it might be in there. If I had an Earth Tour book I would totally try this but I don't, I was super broke back when they were selling those things. If anyone reading this has one, please try this, and then upload it cause I'm dying to hear it, also you have to give me full credit because I deserve it and you don't. So the big reason to thinking this, the only 1 time Horse has mentioned the Ghost EP, they said they had like 200 copies, and lost them in Asia at the beginning of Earth Tour, and that they fried the hard drive containing the only copy they had of it, which I think was all a lie to make it all that much more rare and hard to find, hence the name Ghost EP, which obviously is to hype it up and it fucking worked because I want that shit so fucking bad. So anyways, they lost it at the beginning of Earth Tour, so very likely its in the one place on earth no one would think to look, inside Earth Tour book. Also the number "200" or whatever it was, also about the same number of copies of Earth Tour book, coincidence? ok bye.