deadhorse Cock Their Latest Loaded Gun

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Photos courtesy of deadhorse
Fittingly enough for a date on the calendar mostly set aside for loud, colorful explosions, today marks the release of the first new deadhorse music to be unleashed in 18 years or so. Following through on a threat they made nearly two years ago, the Houston thrash idols have delivered a new EP, Loaded Gun, that arrives fully cocked and ready to go off.

Longtime (and oftentimes long-suffering) fans will be pleased to know that the four new tracks on this record are a conscious return to the band's skate-tastic Horsecore era. Short, straightforward and speedy, the fresh material is characterized by the same head-banging riffs and whiplash-inducing tempo changes that kept hair flying and pits circling back in the day.

Vocalist Mike Argo, the new guy who seems to be winning over a few more skeptical old-timers with each gig, acquits himself very nicely on his first recording with the group, showcasing a throaty yowl with just a touch a twang that one requires from a deadhorse song. While there ain't no going back to 1989, Loaded Gun sounds undeniably like deadhorse. After nearly two decades of nothing, that's more than good enough for a lot of folks.

Of course, it wouldn't quite be deadhorse if everything had gone as planned. To hear the group's bassist/manager Allen "Alpo" Price tell it, this EP was never supposed to have been released at all.

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"Last spring, we played a show in Austin and a show in San Antonio, and we went in the studio between those two shows and laid down the songs for Loaded Gun: four new ones," Alpo says. "It originally was going to be a demo that we may have shopped to potential labels, but as good as it came out and as long as it's been since we had new songs out, we decided we need to get this to the fans and think about labels later.

"Because honestly, we're not pursuing labels that much as this point," he added with a laugh.

Never known for writing particularly quickly or efficiently, deadhorse didn't have the time to let the new songs marinate like they did in the old days. No longer young dudes getting together several times a week to hang out and bash away, the horsemen now must balance the demands of the band against those of their family and careers. When putting the EP together, every minute counted.

"The songs from Loaded Gun were basically put together in about five practices that we had solely for writing, and those were only one-day practices where we had four or five hours to coordinate the music," Alpo says. "So we kind of had to come in with our guns cocked, with a gameplan. Scott [guitarist Sevall] would bring in parts, and then I would bring in parts. We'd kind of review what we had and put a deadhorse spin on it. It's never anything that concrete until we throw it all together in a blender and let it smooth out until it turns into a song."

Planning ahead might just be growing on these guys. Price says that the new EP is intended as a prelude to a bigger, badder release tentatively scheduled for release sometime around New Year's.


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