Dead Horse Detective Agency

24 09 2009


Dead Horse Detective Agency – Sweetheart’s Crumpled Up Heart


Thanks to Brigid for sending me this! Dead Horse Detective Agency was a Tampa post-punk band that was active from the early 2000’s till about 2006. They recorded a song for the amazing Cephia’s Treat comp ‘Almost Invisible’ and released these songs that were never fully mastered in the studio. Nevertheless, even in demo-y form, these tracks still sound great to these ears.

DHDA was Gavin St Denis (guitar, vocals), Jen Penia Fuchs (bass), Brigid Ochshorn (guitar, keyboards, vocals), and Shane Hoffman (drums) and these recordings were done by James Bess. I’ll never forget around the time I graduated high-school in ’05 when Josh Plotkin invited me to go to Ybor City with him to see a band called ‘Dead Horse Detective Agency.’ I didn’t question the odd name or ask what kind of music it was being that Josh has always had exquisite taste in music (I would’ve never of known who DJ Shadow, Lightning Bolt, Thinking Fellers Union Local and tons of other stuff was back in the day if it wasn’t for him).

Anyways, we walked into some brewery bar place where Dead Horse was already starting their set! It was like walking into an arsenal that was both powerful and gracious, and all I could link it to back then was Fugazi and now that I listen to it now I hear more Mission of Burma and Sister/Daydream Nation era Sonic Youth. The singing style of Gavin definitely had that Mission of Burma sound of artistically driven anguish while Brigid’s vocals give off a ‘cherub with a rocking guitar’ like feel that I also think is an accurate association with her presence.  I remember Josh and I going up to her to tell her how good the show was and he bought a t-shirt or something. Little did I know I’d eventually get to know her better and see her still perform as her ethereal solo project Ant Parade. I’m not sure what the other members of DHDA are doing, but I sure hope they’re still rocking in some form!

About this album: I did notice what Brigid said about the mix and sometimes a guitar or vocal track would be muffled behind, and she mentioned that maybe one day she’ll doctor it up and release this album in better form. For now, this is still out there for anyone to give a listen to that might of seen this band before, heard about them around the bay, or haven’t and want to hear this piece of Tampa’s 2000’s history. My favorite track from this is definitely the beautiful epic ‘Tricely,’ very positive and it just keeps rocking and rocking with a killer instrumental close-out.


Track Listing

1. Slow Code

2. Lead

3. Tricely

4. Sleep Your Ass Off

5. Forty-Five Second Song

6. Red Hot and Dance

7. Country Death