Krum Bums - As the Tide Turns (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Krum Bums

As the Tide Turns (2007)


With a name like Krum Bums releasing albums on street punk powerhouse TKO Records, you should have a general idea of what to expect with As the Tide Turns: fast and furious hardcore street punk that aims to obliterate rather than innovate.

Track after track, the Texican five-piece beats out rapid-fire rhythms and searing guitar leads. Their strength is without a doubt the relentless vigor and relatively refined guitar work. The chord progressions and structure range from fairly interesting in "Fall" to basic three- and four-chord progressions like in "Scratching on the Eightball." "Forsaken," despite having a pretty basic structure, is one of the better songs on the album, complemented by short, well-placed guitar licks and gang shout-alongs. Vocal melodies on As the Tide Turns are almost non-existent, though catchy guitarwork in "Sometimes" helps create a pseudo-chorus and easily makes for the best song on the album.

The band's undeveloped lyrics are the main downfall on As the Tide Turns, foregoing specific ideas and examples of social and political thought for general displeasure with life. This self-contained nihilism only comes off as goofy and clichéd, like something you might read on a gothic high schooler's Livejournal. With song titles like "Misery," "Last Breath," "Forsaken," "Fall," and "Disregarded Youth," the lyrical content doesn't bode well for the songs as a whole. "Scratching on the Eightball" offers an example of the weak lyrics: "In disgust, in disgust this darkness never leaves / Weeping and wailing and the mashing [sic] of the teeth / Unbearable and miserable feelings that never leave." The band does pepper their lyrics with an occasional political outburst, like the entertaining lines of "Forsaken": "We're fed their lies in our obese world / And fear a boogeyman and his bullet shells / He's hiding out inside them caves / So Mr. President, thanks a bunch for your words of peace / I know they mean so much / You're fucking full of shit." Krum Bums also display their bilingual skills on "La Plaga" which features an English verse and Spanish chorus and outro.

The insert booklet for As the Tide Turns states "Krum Bums are a non-racist, non-sexist, non-homophobic group of people." While I applaud this attitude, it would help if those ideas were applied more directly to their exceptional brand of hardcore street punk. As the Tide Turns is a fair offering as a whole, but Krum Bums could use some lyrical refining if they expect to progress in the future.