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Krum Bums - "Cut The Noose" (CD)

Krum Bums - "Cut The Noose" CD cover image

"Cut The Noose" track listing:

1. Population Control
2. Action City
3. Poison Myself
4. Gasoline
5. Hit And Run
6. Last To Go
7. Starving Wolves
8. Gallows
9. Cut The Noose
10. (Get Away)
11. Injection
12. Gone Forever
13. High Highs, Low Lows

Reviewed by on July 12, 2011

"With guitar parts that add metal polish to the punk rock sound, Krum Bums' 'Cut The Noose' has plenty to please both the mohawk and metal crowds."

No less a source than the mighty Motorhead mainman Lemmy Kilmister once said that the biggest difference between punk and heavy metal was the haircuts. That comment seems especially apropos when listening to Krum Bums' "Cut The Noose."

Make no mistake, this is a punk record, with 13 short, snarly songs crammed into half an hour. The difference here is that they're played with a fury and technical skill that will have many metalheads joining the mohawk set in moshing merrily to it.

Much of the credit has to go to guitarists Trae Martinez and Justin Hall, who apply a sheen of heavy metal to tracks like "Gasoline," with honest-to-goodness lead guitar parts that supplement the speedy, simple riffs. The solos on "Gasoline" and "Starving Wolves" alone are worth the price of admission — and wouldn't feel out of place on an early thrash record like "Kill 'Em All."

Singer Dave Tejas' growling vocals also add a touch of heaviness, contrasting well with the clean backing vocals on "Gallows" and "Cut The Noose." It might've been nice to see some growl-free moments on his part, but hey, it's punk rock, right?

Actually, it might've been nice to see some more variety interspersed throughout. Sure, "High, Highs, Low Lows" has a few seconds of slower, quieter material, but it might've been nice to have at least one tune that didn't race along at Motorhead speed. There's a point midway through the album where it feels like drummer Nick Kasten is playing the same parts again and again — and that has the effect of making a lot of the songs essentially sound the same, no matter what anyone else is playing. Still, the attitude never flags, and in punk rock, that counts for a whole helluva lot.

With guitar parts that add metal polish to the punk rock sound, Krum Bums' "Cut The Noose" has plenty to please both the mohawk and metal crowds. Sure, some more variety would've been nice, but there's plenty of speed and fury to keep both groups busy in the mosh pit.

Highs: "Gasoline," "High Highs, Low Lows" and "Starving Wolves"

Lows: Toward the middle, a lack of variety can be felt.

Bottom line: A more-than-decent punk record that blends in some metal polish and skills.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)