I played this 7” on my radio show a few weeks ago—having not yet listened to it—and was compelled to shut it off halfway through the song (“Agents of Change,” for those of you keeping score at home) which was chosen for airplay solely on the basis of its occupying the fewest number of grooves on the record. Not one to make snap judgments, I decided to give Der Todesking another shot when I had more time to absorb the music. After all, it was 2:30 AM when I played them on the radio and I was preoccupied with cueing up the next tune (Chinese Restaurants “Queen of the Skanks,” which rules). So I throw Dead Horse on a few days later and am greeted by the title track, the musical equivalent of a howlingly autistic child banging its head against a wall. It has a slow, throbbing bass line, screeching guitars, and a vocalist shouting lame-brained lyrics, culminating in a locked groove of “a dead horse” over and over again until you lift the stylus and put it out of its misery. The flip contains the aforementioned “Agents of Change” and “Kicking and Screaming,” both mid-tempo grinders with vocal deliveries and lyrical content consistent with side A, i.e. neck-strained screaming and stream of consciousness nonsense. This sort of “joke’s on you, audience” shtick might work live, but on record it’s just annoying.
–benke (Self-released, no address)