The 10 Best Metal & Punk Albums Too Rough for the Texas 30
4. deadhorse, Horsecore: An Unrelated Story That's Time-Consuming (1989)
"Horsecore" was the name given to these Houston metal lords' unique sound, blending blistering thrash with tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a smattering of early stabs at death metal. It went over huge in the band's hometown, regularly packing out clubs like the Axiom.
While the group never truly broke through outside of Texas, it really probably should have, as the songs on its debut album attest. With deadhorse active again -- minus songwriter Michael Haaga this time -- the progeny of yesteryear's stage-divers are now being turned on to the headbanging likes of "World War Whatever" and "Bewah."
3. D.R.I., Dirty Rotten LP (1983)
The Dirty Rotten Imbeciles recorded this hyper-speed monument less than a year after playing their first gig at the Omni in Houston. The band would soon relocate to San Francisco as part of an unprecedented Texas punk brain-drain alongside fellow scenesters MDC, the Dicks and Verbal Abuse, where they'd help pioneer a blistering "crossover" sound that heavily influenced the burgeoning thrash-metal scene there.
They were never more raw than this, though. Originally released as an EP that crammed 22 songs onto seven inches of vinyl, The Dirty Rotten LP set a new land-speed record for hardcore, violently shoving the genre in an even more extreme new direction and inspiring skaters to thrash harder than previously understood to be possible.
2. King's X, Gretchen Goes to Nebraska (1989)
One of the most inventive hard rock/heavy metal bands of the '80s, Houston's King's X achieved the pinnacle of their critical and commercial success with Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, a rollicking, progressive collection of ear-pleasers that firmly established the band as a creative force to be reckoned with. Successfully mixing together metal, funk and soul, the record was a hit, named one of the top five albums of the year by Kerrang!
Front man Doug Pinnick's lyrics revolved around the often difficult experience of faith, a relative rarity in the genre then as now. While King's X never quite had the right look or attitude to hit the very top, the band maintains a loyal legion of fans worldwide thanks in large part to the memorable tunes found on their second album.