Krum Bums - Cut the Noose (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Krum Bums

Cut the Noose (2011)

People Like You

Austin, Texas street punks Krum Bums first made waves nationally with As the Tide Turns, a rapid-fire ripper on TKO Records that made up for in energy what it lacked in melody. As labels like TKO and Punk Core seem to have gone dormant over the past few years, Century Media offshoot People Like You has picked up the slack, releasing Krum Bums' latest, Cut the Noose, and SS Kaliert's new offering, Subzero.

So what does the change mean to Krum Bums? Well, whether coincidental or not, Cut the Noose is markedly more varied than the straight-ahead As the Tide Turns, a record that stressed cohesion and homogeny. It's not just the production that's slicker on the new disc–the songwriting is far more pop-oriented than ever before. "Poison Myself" is the first inkling of this tendency, but it grows far clearer with "Gasoline" and a nearly anthemic chorus that alternates with the nearly metal guitar lead.

"Starving Wolves", "Last to Go" and the album's title track call to mind the band's hardcore street punk roots, while tracks like "Gallows" and "Action City" demonstrate a far more pronounced slant towards melody than previously displayed. In almost every way, Cut the Noose surpasses As the Tide Turns, except that the former lacks the same kind of unifying sound that was present before. Instead, the songs vary from raging hardcore to slower '77 punk, with occasional metal guitars to either keep things interesting or interrupt the flow depending on preference.

What's nice about Cut the Noose is that Krum Bums have been able to develop their songwriting and avoid stagnating in the hardcore street punk sound without losing their base or ditching the style they do best. For that, this record is certainly another step in the right direction.