The Hippo


May 24, 2020








Doom brew
New beer named after local band


 By Michael Witthaus
Dead Harrison may be the best local band you’ve never seen. Taking cues from early 1970s proto-metal — the lead track of their new EP All For None could be a Master of Reality outtake — and goth rock like Type O Negative and Corrosion of Conformity, the Nashua trio has stellar studio work on their resume, but few live dates. 
That’s changing, and their profile will be raised even more with the release of a craft beer bearing their name, and a show to celebrate it.
Andre Dumont, Dead Harrison drummer and lead singer, met Litherman’s Brewing co-founder Michael Hauptly-Pierce when he played with The Chemical Distance, before turning from music to beer in 2013. The two remained friends and one day Dumont came up with an idea and bounced it off him.
“It was just like that,” Dumont said in a recent phone interview. “I went, ‘Hey, Michael, do you want to do a beer with Dead Harrison?’ — and he was like, ‘Yeah!’” Named after one of their songs, Dead Harrison End of the Blood-Lime is a blood orange and lime flavored cream ale that tastes a bit more summery than implied by the erupting red volcano with dripping lava label artwork that Steve Lee created for it.
It is consistent, though, with Dumont’s vision for his band — one he describes as bringing light to the darkness. 
“You can feel like there is that ominous presence that’s always around, like the monster working in the shadows just waiting to do its thing,” he said, “but there is almost an uplifting side to the storytelling of it; that it’s not the end, and there are things we can do. … We can be better and push through.”
Thus the resolute, won’t-go-down-without-a-fight Sturm und Drang of “The Struggle” — one of three songs on the new EP — is capped with an admonition: “Let’s begin to live, let’s begin to care.”
The tension between doom rock and hope is one of the reasons the band changed its name a few years back. Originally, they were to be called Dead Rising, but it was the copyrighted name of a video game. So they put that through a Latin translator and got “Mortus Ortus,” which turned out to be more confusing than compelling.
“Everybody thought we were a black metal band — ‘oooh, scary’ — and we’re really not that,” Dumont said. 
Again, he fed the name through a translator, this time Latin to English; the exercise yielded “Dead Have Arisen.” That was alliterated into Dead Harrison, when the ex-Beatle popped into Dumont’s head. 
“It had a dark beginning but an uplifting swing [and] I was like, ‘This is the magic one I think,’” he said. “Third time’s the charm.”
The beer release party happens on a perfectly doom-y day: Friday, July 13. It’s happening at Concord’s Area 23 and is presented by Triple Moon Entertainment, run by local promoter Eleanor Luna. The event will include sets from pun-prog quartet Conduit, alt ravers The Negrons and apocalyptic theatrical rockers Blackletter. 
Two days after the show, Dead Harrison will play acoustic at Litherman’s Concord brewpub. Later in the month, they’re among 10 competitors in the Merrimack Valley Battle of the Bands, happening July 21 in Nashua’s Railroad Square. The winner gets premium studio time, and the group is gearing up hard for the event. 
The plethora of activity hasn’t changed the band’s desire to avoid playing for the sake of the gig, however.  
“Let’s focus on better quality shows and not be playing every bar just because we can do it. It’s a very hard battle, because you want to be playing as much as you possibly can,” Dumont said. “My end goal is, I want us to be doing this for a living, to be able to sustain ourselves without burning the candle at both ends. ... Let’s do this smartly, with a little bit more wisdom in what we are and what we present ourselves as.” 

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