The Bang! Bang! demo rescue pile is tall and diverse, filled with early appearances of famous metal characters, integral puzzle pieces of dark history, and personal favorites that are just plain weird. And then there’s Dead Horse.

Galloping out of Houston, TX, in 1988, these guys didn’t fit the mold at all. They revisited S.O.D. mosh music, presaged death metal, and excelled at a kind of sloppy grindcore that seemed like a combo of Cryptic Slaughter and cowpunk. These guys were obviously listening to at least some noxious post-punk in the vein of Scratch Acid. They were outside the pastures of metal, coming up with psychedelicized visions of Satan that beat a grim resistance to the coming great fascist takeover.

Politically they stand aside Sacred Reich, but musically they ride circles around the stale thrashers of the day. Maybe it has something to do with Houston, whose contributions to hardcore punk were loop-de-loo characters like Culturcide and Three Day Stubble. In any case, this is a highly personal and visionary cult band that deserves its cult status, and here are its earliest tracks:

DEAD HORSE * “Death Rides a Dead Horse” 6-song demo 1988 [23MB .rar]

Dead Horse’s two albums — Horsecore from 1989 and Peaceful Death and Pretty Flowers from 1991 — were reissued in the late 1990s by Relapse, but even those CDs run $75 when you can find them. Time to call in the ponies again for a round-up? Singer/guitarist Michael Haaga served a stint in Superjoint Ritual, so he might be available. Befriend Dead Horse on MySpace for news on the rodeo.

UPDATE: I just figured out that Entombed do a very faithful cover of “Scottish Hell” on the 1999 album Uprising.


  1. they were trendsetters. haaga, alpo, ronny and greg made magic. and their music still stands after all these years.

    here’s hoping for a reunion.

  2. The 2 Relapse reissues are available at eMusic and iTunes for people who just want the music (and want to pay for it). 75 bucks for some cds is absurd.

  3. Michael Haaga’s latest venture is The Plus and Minus Show. While the music is nothing like the dead horse material it showcases Haaga’s incredible talent as a song writer. Haaga slips in a little joke in the CD packaging with the comment that it “contains only trace elements of metal”. It is WELL worth checking out. Musically he covers alot of ground on this CD and the performances are great. Unfortunately, their self-titled debut is their only release thus far and there hasn’t been much word from this project in a while. Hopefully he’ll resurface somewhere.

    Ian, thanks for posting this…it’s a rare treat for long time dead horse fans that weren’t close enough to the Texas scene to have obtained a copy when it was released back in the day. If you are interested in posting the “Feed Me” or “Boiling” I can provide you with the tracks.

    Keep it sick

  4. One of the best concerts i seen was these guys opening for D.R.I….. I have every other DH release, this was the only one i was lacking…

  5. Hey Ian.
    You will be very interested in posting the “Feed Me” and “Boil(ing)” demos. If you actually have the mighty $$$ to buy it and you wanna have it, you can’t get it cause nobody wants to sell it.

    Belive me…I’ve tríed. I have Horsecore, Peaceful death and Boiling. But Feed Me… I might never get a chance to buy it, but could you please upload it, so I might get a chance to actually hear it.

    Rasmus from Copenhagen

  6. greg & ron from dh along with scott from the dh boiling cd are in a new band called Junker. Frontman for the band will be DRI vocalist Kurt Brecht. They have a myspace page, with music coming soon:
    Thought ya’ll might like to have a heads up about that! I know I can’t wait for the tunes!

  7. When I complemented Erich at Good Bad Music and said he was a master of the music blog, he directed me here for a true master. After reading this one, I see that he hit the nail on the head. Dead Horse was one of my favorites after the first listen and I didn’t realize they even had a demo, even though just about every band on the planet does. I really like what you have to say about them. Thank you for your time and energy in doing this blog.

  8. Ive Been Searching for days if anyone can point me in the direction of the FEED ME Demo i would much apresheate it
    Ive found every other demo and record but not that one

  9. Please please please…I would do (just about) ANYTHING for a copy of Boil(ing)!!!! I used to have it and it got all fucked up but pleeeeaaaasssee anyone!!!!

  10. dude.. Scottish Hell is my god right now… its the total inspiration for the new arrangement of ‘For Those Who Voted For Nixon’ and the Arpeggio scales I’m incorporating in to the extended guitar solos…. I’m going to have to put an add in Guitar magazing for a singer… this is going to be something:)


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