The singer of Dark Horse, Dennis, says of the new album, titled Bomb Thrower, “It’s a good representation of how we sound live. Check out the songs on the album and read the lyrics, hopefully, you can take something from it. Also, come to a show and get your face blown off.”
100% agreed, they’ll blow it right off!
Dark Horse is a band of four guys who have been in some amazing bands like Unclean, Frank Rizzo, Vae Victus, and Deathcage. Together they have a common love of the D-Beat genre and from that have just released their second album. They have direction, know what they want to achieve with the band, and it’s mainly all about having fun.
In late 2010 or early 2011, Romano (then on bass, now on guitar), Freddo on guitar (no longer with the band) and Fran on drums would meet now and then to jam and some more, “I joined the band in March 2011 – my old band, None Remain, had broken up just a few months earlier and I was eager to start something new.”
He added that at that time the band had their name set as “Dark Horse”, had a tonne of riffs and, “Had one finished song. But, we hit it off well and in the following weeks and months pounded out a good half a dozen songs.”
At the close of 2011, Dark Horse had ten songs they decided were worthy of recording, “So we booked time at the studio and laid down what would become our first demo.”
Recently Dark Horse released their crushing new album Bomb Thrower, their second. It follows the demo, split singles, with Inebrious Bastard, Melbourne’s Black Jesus, and another with Badak Singa – Indonesian grind, the 2014 album Sick Of The Living, High On Death, an appearance on two compilations, and another later this year on an Antifa Benefit (an organisation against fascism).
If you don’t know their sound, Dark Horse love crust, grind, hardcore, metal, “All share a love for Disfear and Tragedy, two bands that have come to shape the D-Beat genre and most definitely left a bit of a mark on our musical outlook”, he admits.
If you put Napalm Death, Poison Idea and Bolt Thrower in a blender you would get a good idea of their sound.
“Apart from that, we all listen to lots different things. Usually, it’s the heavy and fast stuff, but where you hear at the checkout or something. As long as it rages.”
Regarding new music, they’re listening to, “I think the new Darkest Hour album is really awesome. Also, that latest Nails record kills. And check out ExtinctExist from Melbourne – their album a real fucking treat.”
Kieran joined the band in 2014 and Dennis had played in bands before with him and took over bass duties, “Romano switched over to guitar, which opened us up creatively. We wrote a couple of songs that were promising, recorded them for a split release and they never saw the light of day”.
They played more shows and at the beginning of 2016 and decided it was time to make a concentrated effort to make a new album. He continues, “So we stopped taking on new gigs for the next 4 months to concentrate just on jamming. It’s very rare that one of us shows up at rehearsal with a fully finished song in the bag, we’d rather let ideas sprawl organically into something cool until it sounds like Dark Horse and feels ready.”
They finished thirteen tracks, twelve of which are on Bomb Thrower! It was mixed last October with Jason Fuller (who’s worked with Mindsnare, King Parrott, Blood Duster) at Goatsound in Melbourne and mastered by Jack (Anti Cimex, Poison Idea) at Enormous Door in the US of A. Their pal Kevin Cortez (Massappeal) did some guest vocals on two songs.
The artwork was done by Alejandro D’Marco, an Argentinian graphic design artist. The full version of the piece is a poster in the LP out (which will be available in May).
2017 is set to get even busier, already having played a few gigs already, including the album launch that occurred with Black Rheno and Hostile Objects, and recently with Irish grind band Abaddon Incarnate, Distort DIY Punk Fest at Byron, etc. Now that the vinyl has finally dropped there is Friday’s LP release gig and the “Black Jesus” mini tour in August which is an eight-date tour of Japan, their second, in October/ November with US band, Invidiosus.
He said about touring overseas, “It gets a lot easier once you’ve actually been overseas, people remember your band and are happy to help out.” And maybe to Tasmania and Perth soon also. See below for details.
I asked what’s the most Spinal Tap moment Dark Horse had had thus far, “Our old guitarist Freddo’s in-laws came over from India to meet him before he and his fiancée got married and they think (being in this band that) he’s some big star and say’s, ‘I’m going to do your band shirts’ and he’s like ‘Sweet’. He gives her a printout of the designs before they leave. A few months later he gets three massive boxes of 300-400 shirts that we’re never gonna get rid of in a hundred years. Five years later we’ve still got these fucking shirts.“
What in three words tell people what to expect from Dark Horse. He told me simply “Fasten your seatbelts!”
In closing, I asked Dennis if there Is there anything Dark Horse hope the listener gets out of their music? “It’s all about having fun – first and foremost for us. We love playing live, it’s a great rush. Ideally, I want the energy of the music to rub off on the listener and that usually works better in a live environment. “
“Bomb Thrower” LP Launch Show
Friday 21 July – Marrickville Bowlo, 91 Sydenham Rd, Marrickville, Sydney $10
With The Uglies (Adelaide), Dark Horse, Rapid Eye, Grim, Berzerker Boys
Friday 28– July “Trapped Under Ice” Fest, The Basement, Canberra
DARK HORSE / BLACK JESUS Tour /dates
Thursday August 17 – The Hamilton Hotel, Newcastle – Dark Horse, Black Jesus, Disparo!, Obat Batfuk
Friday August 18 – The Valve, Sydney – Dark Horse, Black Jesus, Disparo!, The Plague, Horrisonous
Saturday August 19 – The Basement, Canberra – Dark Horse, Black Jesus, Black Jesus, Mytile Vey Lorth, Blight Worms, The Plague
Tour of Japan with Invidiosus (USA)
Friday October 27 – Yokohama
Saturday October 28 – Tokyo
Sunday October 29 – Shizuoka
Monday October 30 – Osaka
Wednesday November 1 – Takamatsu
Thursday November – Fukuoka
Friday November 3 – Hiroshima
Saturday November 4 – Tokyo
Dark Horse website:
To Buy the Dark Horse album etc