Darkhorse Saloon
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Darkhorse Saloon

Jacksonville Beach, Florida, United States | SELF

Jacksonville Beach, Florida, United States | SELF
Band Rock Soul


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"DarkHorse Saloon-Greetings from"

Jacksonville,Florida’s Dark Horse Saloon rock it like it’s 1974 and thank God they do. With a strong debut CD, DHS sound and play as though punk, New Wave, or even disco ever happened. This is retro done so magnificently, it’s positively fresh and new.
With a guitar that sounds as if it was tuned by Wayne Kramer, most of the songs are a shade faster than sludgey and just slower than mid-tempo. There are great huge slabs of distorted guitars running through tube amps with a rhythm driven by endless waves of cymbal wash. This kids, is raw unfiltered, glorious noise that’ll make you long for black velvet paintings, travel vans and wall to wall shag carpet.
This CD sounds like the first 4 Black Sabbath albums’s, the best of Ram Jam and Grand Funk on shuffle play. This band sounds as though they learned to play their instruments from the dusty stacks of 8 tracks someone’s dad used to unsuccessfully cover up their stacks of Playboy magazine 1971-75, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. Everything was more honest then, both the music and the magazines.
Stand out tracks include:“Stained Glass,” “My Wave,” and “Anytime.”
Everything about Dark Horse Saloon is energized and primed for overdrive. - Indie Music co.

"Jacksonville Music History"

"Now the new generations of talent- think Black Kids and Darkhorse Saloon are carrying the torch of teeming musical talent into the millennium for North Florida." - Void Magazine

"One small venue- 3 Big Bands"

"DarkHorse Saloon has a reputation of getting the crowd on its feet and shaking its hips, and while their repertoire of jingles differs from those of the other two groups performing( Tokyo Police Club and Someone still loves you Boris Yeltsin), they provide a fresh and diverse sound with their rougher vocals and darker vibes." - UNF Spinnaker

"Our Picks"

"Darkhorse Saloon bring the same syrupy swagger as proto-stoner rockers like Kyuss and Masters of Reality with cuts like "strangers" and "dance joint"." - Folio Weekly


Never fear, brothers, man-beast swagger is here... again. To the tune of Queens Of The Stone Age, The Stooges, and The Black Keys, Jacksonville, FL-based DarkHorse Saloon make full use of their XY chromosomes and raise barroom hell. This Jag-town trio break today’s mold by pouring their souls into last decade’s. Sure, Taylor Steele, a parade of flamboyantly dressed pro surfers, and much of the American “subculture” tells us that synth-laden, computer-driven glitches are the bees’ knees. But music’s greatest frontline isn’t about bouncing around like fashion-infatuated fairies, and DarkHorse Saloon takes a stand for the few remaining good men who want to unleash their pent-up testosterone to the tune of a Viking war cry.
Filthy power-chord guitar carries each and every tune on the band’s 12-song debut LP, Greetings From DarkHorse Saloon, while bass handles the groove and nimble drums construct a strategically spiked spine. Frontman/guitarist Michael Fitzgerald taunts listeners with the same timbre as Eagles Of Death Metal lead singer Jesse Hughes, but laces his voice with menace rather than Hughes’ dance-rock citrus zest. “There’s a hole in the mattress/ There’s blood on the floor/ In the back of a jet plane/ I’m looking for some more,” Fitzgerald sulkily sings on the haunting “Stained Glass” before the band kicks into overdrive. This dynamic element of slow and threatening to fast and crazed was borrowed from QOTSA’s earlier work circa Songs For The Deaf, but album opener “My Wave” finds DarkHorse Saloon speaking to every surfer’s soul by describing the ever-impending cut-off.
Yet undiluted, energetic tracks like “Anytime,” “Blackwowtah,” and the regrettably titled “Rock ‘n’ Roll Shakin” are where our motley trio thrive. Glimpses of Valient Thorr, ASG, and The Sword rear their mind-melting faces throughout these raucous rockings. DarkHorse Saloon can’t claim responsibility for its sound, but when many of the band’s influences have fallen by the electronic, over-produced, or fame-fawning wayside, that really doesn’t matter. For those who want to rock, send your salutes to this band of raw power purists. By Alex Lemonde-Gray - Eastern Surf Magazine

"DarkHorse Saloon-Greetings from"

DarkHorse Saloon are an all guts and no frills rock group from Jacksonville, Florida. They’ve stripped everything down to its most basic form and rolled with it, letting the attitude of the songs do the talking. With no pun intended, this whole aura of this record is just permeating with beer and cigarette smoke. They’ve managed to take the “bar band” vibe and hone it into something big and powerful with their record, Greetings From.

Occasionally nodding towards similar bands such as the White Stripes or Eagles of Death Metal, “Greetings From” is a straightforward Rock and Roll journey with no surprises or hidden messages. The opening track “My Wave” starts with a sort of Ventures-type riff played under a single resonant tremolo chord to create a serious and “nighttime” sounding vibe before erupting into a loud, spacious and classic blues rock tirade that only eases briefly before coming right back again. From here on out it pretty much never stops; the rest of the record is a non-stop ride right until the finish.

The album is recorded beautifully with the instruments being mixed so far apart that the dynamic character of each instrument and amp sounds as though you are in the room while it is being played. This allows for a relatively unique listening perspective. Typically dynamics are a luxury reserved for concerts and vinyl. Not so in this case. It honestly sounds like a well mic’d performance. The tones and clarity are so good in fact that it would let any offensive notes or missed beats stand out like a sore thumb. Fortunately, this record just doesn’t disappoint in that category. Instead you get to hear all of the fuzzed full stack tone dialed down to it’s sweetest of spots.

This album is about attitude. Like The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, what you see is what you get. No extended solos, no psychedelic layering or any of that. It’s just stripped down and honest, and just to the right amount. Essentially what they lack in needless additions are their loudest attribute. What is “missing” from this record is what makes it so strong and such a standout in a sea of Top 40 sound-a-like bands with no vision. There is nothing pretty or cute about this record. It’s just balls to the wall Rock and Roll Americana that you can nod your head and drink a beer to so long as you play it nice and loud, as intended.

4 out of 5 stars. - Indie Music Reviewer

"" the trio turns “Sick of your shit” into a harrowing listenable anthem (“Blackwowtah”).""

Darkhorse Saloon are revivalists, the kind of “take no prisoners” band that falls in line with the American tradition of motorcycles, Levi’s and face melting guitar solos. Framed by the rock ‘n’ roll trinity – thick electric guitar, bass and drums – and unforgiving lyrics about drinking and reckless living, the trio turns “Sick of your shit” into a harrowing listenable anthem (“Blackwowtah”).

The unfortunately titled “Rock n Roll Shakin” is a lark, brandishing a chunky riff which sets the tone for shouting vocals that cut through abrasive din as if responding to the question asked by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s tour de force, “Whatever Happened to My Rock ’N Roll?” Although comparisons to Eagles of Death Metal are unavoidable (think Jesse Hughes’ vocal charisma) Darkhorse Saloon is more fist-throwing than dance-rock, nevertheless seamless with a sexual-charged bounty. (Self-Released) - Performer Magazine


DarkHorse Saloon demo- Jan. 2010
"Strangers" video release- July 2010
"Greatings from" LP- April-2011

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Born on the 4th of July, what first began as a way to keep a few thirsty fellows out of the bars, quickly developed into a new problem. DarkHorse Saloon has produced a 3 song Demo, an award winning music video "Strangers", and a 12 track album "Greetings From" which has received numerous favorable reviews. DHS is currently recording, expect a new record in by late 2012 or early 2013.