Cut the Noose (People Like You Records)
Punk. Either you were there or you weren’t. Like metal, punk has die hard fans and very few casual hanger-ons. Which may be the reason why they borrowed so much from each other and why many bands crossed over with many mutual heroes. There is definitely something about punk, an intrinsic intangible that no other genre has had a real bead on. More than anything else good punk rock has heart and a ton of it. I knew that fact even as a metal head teenager whether it was THE RAMONES on the classic rock station or GORILLA BISCUITS playing a Sunday matinee. The very same SUICIDAL TENEDENCIES CD’s I still go nuts for are right next to my CRO-MAGS, FEAR and CLASH ones. We are no longer in a age where long hair dudes and chicks need to tuck their ponytails up in their hoodies (like I had to) and Mohawked punks still are free to skank away in the circle pit unharmed at the most metal of metal shows. Playing balls out pop punk with an hard edge and a butt load of soul are the greatly named KRUM BUMS hailing from Austin, Texas. They are the latest sons of the street to come along being punk but respecting metal and rock too.
Cut the Noose is made up of fourteen of the most intense, fun, rocking punk n roll jams I have heard in a long time. The opening riffs of “Population Control” are practically lifted right from DANZIG’s “Mother”, but hey if you are gonna steal, steal a diamond right? Otherwise the song is a fast and tight paranoid sing-a-long of the highest order. Lead singer Dave Tejas has done it all, seen it all and lives to scream about it in his disaffected metal yowl. He has the right touch of grit in his voice and a classic sarcastic delivery. Similarly “Action City” is a terrific party anthem complete with tough guy gang vocals. Bunches of fun riffs and infectious guitar soloing takes over the song and leaves you smiling. “Poison Myself” is full of the same vitriol and pacing of classics by BLACK FLAG and THE DEAD KENNEDY’S. Uplifting, sentimental lyrics also call to mind Tim Armstrong or Mike Ness at their soul baring finest. It turns out the true punk rock ethos is not the bloody, snot dripping kid wit the anarchy symbol on his jacket as much as it is that same kid grown up and hardened by his life; older, wiser and reflective. Tejas does this really well. “Gasoline” is a gem of pop perfection, down to its cascading IRON MAIDEN-esque riffs and harmonies in the chorus. “Hit and Run” is another killer tune with another infectious melody. Longtime guitarist Trae Martinez is apparently the architect for a lot of this sonic ear candy that is sweet as honey. “Starving Wolves” is equal parts thrash and hardcore, with the perfect blend of both genres all at once. “Gallows” is yet another catchy sing-a-long track in the finest tradition. The title track, like most of the songs on this album is short and to the point. This time it’s the straight up angry variety and we finally hear bassist Ry Meyer cut loose on some neat bass runs. Other standout jams are “Injection” and “High Highs, Low Lows”. The guys in the KRUM BUMS are not reinventing the wheel here nor are they straying to far from the things that made their heroes so great. What they do have is music delivered with a lot of heart. In essence that is what all good music aspires to do.
by Keith (Keefy) Chachkes