The Cooters - Punk Metal (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Cooters

Punk Metal (2005)

Profane Existence

With a band name like the Cooters and an album title like Punk Metal, it's hard to really say whether or not this band wants us to take them seriously.

The trio does musically hold their own, with elements drawn from both, you guessed it, metal and punk, but with lyrics like "John Grisham don't give a damn / Fuck Oxford American!" that line becomes just a little more blurred. For all intents and purposes, the Cooters seem to be fairly serious musicians, and while it's not lyrically reflected, they can hold their own with some solid songwriting and great guitar solos. The whole metal sound and aura seems a lot more prevalent than anything from the punk side of things, until songs like "Kill Them With Kindness" come into the fray. Simple chord progressions and much less aggressive, maybe even lazy vocals show the band in a much less positive light than the metal-sounding tracks.

"Woo Lord" is liable to make any big metal-head pull out the air guitar to try and tackle some of the same colossal solos contributed to the album by Gentry Webb. The problems arise when Webb is out of his element.

Which is doing anything not metal.

While they start incredibly strong, with "The Gooch," the lead-out song "The Redneck Slut from Hell" lacks any sort of intensity or conviction that was present on the previous tracks. There's no fire, no real reason to listen, as metal is the only setting in which these guys excel. When they're able to get out all the raw power and guitar noodling, that's the setting in which these guys are able to be strong songwriters. "Society Sets the Stereotypes" is a crude blast of power that doesn't even last a minute and a half, but accomplishes what it set out for anyhow. Newt Rayburns' scruffy vocals couldn't be more suited for that type of song, not the low energy type of affair that "Carpetbaggers" is. Sure, it's got plenty of snotty punk attitude, but there's not much else going for it.

When it comes down to it, Punk Metal is roughly half of what it could have been. Though the Casualties would not likely approve, the Cooters need to up the metal.