Friday, February 12, 2010
dead horse - horsecore: an unrelated story that's time consuming (1989)
In 1989, thrash and death metal bands like Atheist, Death and Pestilence were still figuring out how to incorporate jazz rhythms and intense technicality into what would become progressive death metal; in Houston, far from the national hotbeds of thrash and death, Dead Horse recorded an album that was wildly ahead of its time. Although certainly less well known than the aforementioned bands, Horsecore: An Unrelated Story That's Time Consuming demonstrates that (at least, in '89) Dead Horse were every bit their equals. Sure, there is the intense riffing and frantic drumming you'd expect on a thrash album, but this album displays more of an interest in complex songwriting and unusual musical styles than many other thrash albums. The lyrics, too, are interesting, often in a socially conscious vein: on the country-thrashing "Hank", singer Michael Haaga (sounding a bit like a cross between John Darnielle and Steve Albini) sneeringly describes the type of "family man, down right American" he loathes. "Mindless Zombies" decries the children of Nazis. "Bewah" deals with.... wait, I think that song is about beer, actually. Finally, this album is not just technically complex and boldly adventurous in structure, it's also surprisingly well recorded- everything on it sounds crisp and clear. Frankly, nothing has come close to sounding like this album since its release, and if it had come out today, it would still be considered ground-breaking.