DARK HORSE band Sydney
New Music

Sydney d-beat hardcore gang DARK HORSE stings hard with their new epic album “Trauma​-​Taught Self​-​Destruct”

6 mins read

Almost fours years since the release of their previous full length “Bomb Thrower, Australian d-beat hardcore punks DARK HORSE are storming back with their wild new release “Trauma​-​Taught Self​-​Destruct”, a high octane, invigorating 12-track tour de force that’s extremely compelling and never boring. 

Asked about their time in between last two albums, DARK HORSE confirm that they have been busy playing many shows around Australia and tours overseas, including their October/November 2017 an 8 date tour of Japan, October 2018 a mini tour of New Zealand, June/July 2019 14-show tour of Eastern Europe including a slot at Obscene Extreme Festival.

During all of those countless Aussie shows DARK HORSE recorded and released a 4 track 7″ Ideation and put out a split 7″ with their friends Inebrious Bastard.

Since early last year though, through the pandemic, it has been painfully slow for the band. “Shows obviously came to an abrupt halt and trying to book studio time to record our newest album almost sent us all mad.” – comments DARK HORSE.

“It took us I think 3 attempts to book flights to Melbourne so we could go and record with Jason at Goatsound, where we recorded Bomb Thrower. By the time we got down there, which was April this year (originally we were hoping to go down in October 2020) Jason had sold his studio and we had to actually go and record at another place, Toyland studio, with another engineer Adam Calaitzis, with Jason coming in to oversee, listen and finally mix the album. Then mastering was handed to Brad Boatright at Audioseige. The final outcome was an overall clearer sounding album than Bomb Thrower but still aggressive and nasty enough to get our message across.”

The artwork was a fairly collaborative effort between the four of the band members with Kieren, their bass player taking everyone’s ideas and forming a dark and grim looking piece for the cover.

“The consensus from us, job well done and another (our third) album we can be proud of.” – concludes the band.

For the writing of this album, as usual, the whole crew brought their own inspirations/influences to the fold and built on top of a foundation of bands such as Disfear, Tragedy, Boltthrower.

DARK HORSE band Sydney

“Then from there I would say I was pulling ideas from Nailbomb, Crowbar, Napalm Death.” – adds the band’s guitarist Romano. “Kieren on Bass was listening to a lot of From Ashes Rise as well as Grand Collapse, Fall of Efrafa and Butcher ABC. Fran our Drummer is always listening to lots of obscure Crust and Dbeat bands from all over the place. Then Dennis on Vocals will come and help shape the songs with suggestions for different ways of playing riffs or drum beats, extra parts or in many cases requests for less of everything, but all in all helping to give the songs direction and purpose.”

The band hooes that people out there can stick it on, the album that is and have a mosh in their bedrooms and lounge-rooms or come to a show and have a stomp around while DARK HORSE smashes em’ out live.

We asked the band to dive into the details of some of the new songs and here’s their take on four featured tracks. Check it out below.

DARK HORSE band Sydney

Death by cop:

So this is a song that Kieren, our Bass player brought almost fully formed to rehearsals. It has a bit more of a punk feel to it than others on the record. As usual we ate it up and spat it back out. We think it’s quite a damn good song. Stylistically it’s a punk/hardcore song but fits well with the rest of the album. It starts with a slow and meaty Bass intro and then just drops in with the fastest down-stroke riff that just punches you right in the face. Lyrically, this one is pretty obvious, Dennis went for a more direct and simplistic approach which seems necessary considering the seriousness of the topic.

The Cull

A short but sweet little grindy one that Fran, our drummer and I came up with one jam when we were just screwing around waiting for the others to arrive. Lyrically, This is about a low point in Dennis and his partners lives.

DARK HORSE band Sydney


This one was an idea I had while at work, I just had the chug bit for the main riff in my head and wanted to see if it would work with Dbeat, I played it at our next jam and it sounded great. Kieren then took it home and the next week he came back with practically a whole song, we then put it in the Darkhorse pressure cooker and hey presto it came out tasting as good as it sounds. Lyrically, Dennis’ thoughts on leading life in different places than where you’re from and grew up, with limited resources and social support and the darker places this can sometimes send you to.

The weak need not apply

This is one I had on the burner for a while, we’d jam on it once in a while but it kept going back on the shelf. Then one day after making some edits and shortening the song slightly it took hold and we kept it on the list for songs to record. Stylistically this one is pretty hard and fast, on the verge of grind but still Dbeat as fuck. Lyrically Dennis’ look at the punk/HC scene, after being part of it for 20+ years and the fact it’s promises turned out to be empty.

DARK HORSE band Sydney

DARK HORSE been a band for over 10 years now and they have been always busy playing shows around the Sydney area. “We’ve had the great fortune to play with and have great times with lots of awesome Sydney bands.” – admits the band.

We asked them to mention and comment on some of these bands from their local scene. “There’s many more (past and present) we could list here for you to go check out and listen to but this will have to suffice.” – they say.


These guys have been around for quite a few years now, the members of the band have been playing in and around the Sydney scene in lots of different and kick arse bands for more than 20 years. I love this band particularly as they draw from many of the same influences as Darkhorse but don’t really sound that close to us. I wish we could play more shows together but something always seems to hamper our attempts to put something on. /// Long live Dbeat! ///

Maggot Cave

These peeps are another band we play with regularly and they are pretty focused on grindcore. These days they are a 3 piece with Alex who used to play bass switching to guitar and smashing it through a guitar rig as well as a bass rig. They pull off a pretty impressive sound for only guitar and drums and of course Dave on vocals screaming and growling his lungs out. /// Grind Fuckers ///

Cream Soda

Tragedy struck our friends in Cream Soda last year when their drummer Dino died suddenly in the middle of the pandemic. A sad day for us as we had all known him, played shows with and in Kieren’s case played in Deathcage with him. Coincidentally Fran had replaced him in two bands over the years (Vae Victus, Deathcage) and not so long ago when Danny and Ben from Cream Soda wanted to keep the band going who else were they going to ask to smash the cans but the older, uglier and stinkier version of Dino, Fran. He obliged and has been playing with them since. /// ARRRGGGGHHHH ///


Newcomers to the Sydney scene, these 3 dudes just started playing gigs together at the beginning of the year but were stymied by the Sydney lock-down. Now they are raring to go and are already locked in for some shows before the years out. Loud, nasty, spit in your face punk as fuck! and fun as hell.

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