Sunday, January 3, 2010

PALEHORSE: Discography

I recently realized that there seems to be quite a bit of confusion surrounding the band Palehorse. Thinking back, I was barely familiar with their releases myself. I had the pleasure of booking and seeing the band more often than most can say. You see, Palehorse was always a considerably unorganized band. While I did actually get them down here multiple times, I had them booked five or six times, I think; with them showing up for maybe half of those. The same confusion carried over with their releases. I'll try to sum it up as best as possible.

I initially got their demo CD from my friends in Swear To God back in 2003. I was blown away instantly whenever the demo kicked off with the infamous track Mayday. Amongst The Flock and Forty Eight, the successor tracks, did not let up in the slightest. Luckily for me, it wasn't much longer that I'd have to wait to see this band. Coming down from CT along with Swear To God, Palehorse brought one of the most intense sets of their career in the small town of Charleroi, PA. It was from then on that I would become obsessed with this act and would continue to bring them to Pittsburgh at every opportunity possible.

Apparently only a very small quantity of this demo CD-R was ever produced. Years down the road (after their full length was out), it would be pressed to a 7" record by Get IG! Records. No clue how many were made, but I had some LIMITED COVER out of 25. No one seems to know about this one, so yeah ... your guess is as good as mine.

It wasn't long after the release of their demo, however, that the band released their debut EP entitled Secrets Within Secrets on Martyr Records. The recording on this record remains to be topped by any of their other releases in my opinion. Regretfully for the band (and the hardcore scene in general) there was something along the lines of a "buy out" of Martyr Records by some larger label. I don't remember the details other than knowing that Dave from Palehorse rambled for an hour about it and I didn't understand a word of what he was saying. Either way, this EP never really received the distribution or attention that it deserved. The intro rings of mid-tempo, mid-nineties hardcore along the lines of Outspoken or Mean Season. It is not long after, however, that the band once again kicks off with the effort with Mayday. The recording sounds even better than the demo version. The band carries on the intensity throughout the release and leaves you wishing it was more than a five song effort.

The band recorded another set of three songs for a split release. I'm not sure which of the releases was the original intent, but the same three songs appeared on splits with both Under One Flag and Colin Of Arabia. While neither band holds a candle to Palehorse, both releases are both having due to their different formats (UOF on vinyl, COA on CD). I remember the split with Under One Flag being delayed well over a year, which makes me think it was the original intention. This recording session is the only one to feature possibly their best track, Martial Law. Actually, picking a favorite Palehorse track is next to impossible, I might just be partial to Martial Law considering it contains THE breakdown from my old band's demo, haha.

Following the release of the Colin Of Arabia split, Bridge 9 Records decided to hold onto Palehorse for a full length. For whatever reason, some of the best tracks were never re-recorded for their debut full length (most notably Martial Law and Broken Cross). Nonetheless, the album contains a few gems of its own. While I am not personally a fan of the recording of the full length, the song quality remains flawless. Witch Hunt starts off with one of the most unique and flawless drum parts of all hardcore time.

Rumor has it that Palehorse has started playing again intermittently. They have played several benefit shows in Connecticut but have yet to traveled outside of their hometown. I'm hoping that the band decides to reform as a fully functioning unit.


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