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Koffin Kats - Forever for Hire (Cover Artwork)

Koffin Kats

Koffin Kats: Forever for HireForever for Hire (2009)
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Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: GlassPipeMurderGlassPipeMurder
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What makes the Koffin Kats' latest album good is more what it isn't than what it is. Because though it is a reasonably enjoyable disc by any measure, Forever for Hire isn't an entirely derivative and formulaic psychobilly album, the likes of which appear all too frequently in punk rock. Hailing .
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What makes the Koffin Kats' latest album good is more what it isn't than what it is. Because though it is a reasonably enjoyable disc by any measure, Forever for Hire isn't an entirely derivative and formulaic psychobilly album, the likes of which appear all too frequently in punk rock.

Hailing from Motor City, Michigan, it makes some sense that the trio wouldn't pepper their compositions with the same surf-styled selections of California psychobilly bands like Tiger Army and Stellar Corpses. In the psychobilly equation, the Koffin Kats clearly put their punk before their rockabilly, blasting thick power chord progressions front and center, while the upright bass of Vic Victor generally takes a backseat, which is appropriate since he's also handling lead vocal duties. Though Victor does take the same over-the-top, Elvis-impersonating approach as many in the deathpunk/psycho scene, the vocals end up sounding more like NoMeansNo than Nick 13. And while a good chunk of the disc seems more Misfits than Nekromantix, there are a couple cuts that serve as a reminder of the band's rockabilly influence. "Saw My Friend Explode Today" opens fairly flat, but eventually kicks it into a nearly upstroke guitar rhythm verse and a punishingly heavy bridge.

Lyrically, the Koffin Kats put forth what's generally expected in the genre ("Asylum," "Graveyard Tree Zero," The Final Day") but end up blending the traditional Halloween/B-movie themes with their Detroit roots in "Small Block & Flathead": "If you're carburetor county jalopy junction bound / Then you're looking for some madness down in the south... Gasoline mixed with formaldehyde / Genetic hotrod mutation come alive." The album's title track showcases its strength from the gang chorus within, and the final cut "How It Ends" features one of the catchiest vocal melodies on the CD, even though it lacks any real lyrics.

What Forever for Hire sacrifices in twang and hooks, it makes up for in uncharacteristically unique song compositions -- at least for psychobilly. Wrapped in a utilitarian digipak with action shots from Diana Price and Minnesota punk photographer Adam Degross, the Koffin Kats have delivered one of the better psychobilly efforts of the year -- even while downplaying some of the elements that give psychobilly its name.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Koffin Kats - Our Way & The HighwaySuicidal Tendencies - No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal FamilyAmebix - ReduxCeremony - Rohnert ParkBorn to Lose - The Dreams of KidsOff with Their Heads - In DesolationSwingin' Utters - Brand New Lungs [7-inch]The Scarred - At Half MastShort Changed - Short ChangedThe Hollowpoints - Old Haunts on the Horizon

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
dreeeamweaver (December 13, 2009)

one of the worst band names ever.

skolarx (December 13, 2009)

really good dudes and fun to see live here and there. never listened to any of the albums though

jonnyrawker (December 13, 2009)

I'm getting a little tired of the same old psychobilly sound coming out these days but this was a refreshing record. The reviewer has it bang on. More punk then rockabilly. And the guitars are big and loud. Love it.

savato (December 11, 2009)

Glad someone finally did a review for them. It's not like they're nobodies.

ashtraymonument (December 11, 2009)

my band wrote a song called "i hate psychobilly"

it's pretty rad. in a crappy song sort of way.

telegraphrocks (December 10, 2009)

These guys are playing TELEGRAPH's last "Day After X-Mas" party on December 26th at Small's (along with The A-Gang).
www.myspace.com/telegraphdetroit

People would know this if this stupid website posted the fucking news I submitted 12 days ago.
But nope... Nightmares For A Week posted a demo, a douche with connections to MTV posted his favorite songs of the year, another boring folk-act got a story submitted with a whole 2 comments posted, someone names Biffy exists, and a few more bands 99% of the readers here have never heard of did something stupid.

mikexdude (December 9, 2009)

I like this band am interested in heaing this.

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