It's no secret that the Texas metal scene of the ’80s kicked all sorts of New York, SoCal and Bay Area’s ass. But for whatever reason, bands like Anthrax, Slayer, Metallica and their compadres have enjoyed lengthy, fruitful careers while legions of Lone Star thrashers have seen their own bands disintegrate and be relegated to the annals of metal lore. Only occasionally would fans be treated to reunion shows by Rigor Mortis, Watchtower, or Solitude Aeturnus.
However, unlike the proverbial beast from which the band takes its name, Houston-area thrash masters Dead Horse are plugged in, reactivated, and ready to bear some burden.
“We'd been feeling the itch for a few years now,” bassist/vocalist Allen “Alpo” Price told the Current. “And that itch only got more annoying after Greg, Scott and Ronny hooked up with Kurt [Brecht] from D.R.I. and Pasadena Napalm Division.” (News flash: according to a text message sent by Alpo days after our conversation, Brecht will have a guest appearance at Dead Horse’s show at Fitzgerald’s on Saturday.)
Time — and possibly Dead Horse's dabbling in death metal on their 1996 album BOIL(ing) — dealt former lead shouter Alpo a cruel hand.
“I can't sing so good anymore,” Alpo laughingly laments to a hatefully loving crowd on the recent Making a Dead Horse Live DVD. Their solution? Recruiting a fifth horseman, Michael Argo, who capably injects a menacing presence into the Horse while remaining true to their hard-earned legacy.
Making a Dead Horse Live indisputably proves that the reactivated Horse is no desperate cash-grab attempt. The DVD chronicles a riotous Argo debut at the sold-out Houston reunion show in October 2011, with a couple of Austin performances (including their Fun Fun Fun Fest set) further cementing the fact the resurrected Horse is as consistent as it is corrosive.
“Having Argo there to work the crowd really frees the rest of us up to just let it rip,” says Alpo. Indeed, their thoroughly Texan take on thrash rears a more dynamic edge with Argo at the helm. “Like Arsielle” can only be described as progressive punk-thrash, while “One Nation” is easily one of the most brutal songs these legends have ever penned. Sprinkle in some twisted humor (“Adult Book Store,” “Satan Kissed My Dog”), country twang (“Hank,” “Chiggers,” “My Dog”), and some Starvin’ Zindler zingers that only a Houstonian could appreciate, and you’ve got yourself a sound that is indisputably metal and indisputably Texas.
“All that’s left to do is shake off the dirt,” says Alpo. “The Dead Horse lives!”
Dead Horse, with The Cutthroats and Pillcrusher
Doors at 8pm Sat, May 25
437 McCarty Rd, Ste 101