The Koffin Kats

The Koffin Kats

The Koffin Kats

Forever For Hire

Stomp Records

On their fifth full-length album, The Koffin Kats are stretching the limits of psychobilly like a bony knee in a worn out pair of jeans. With more metal guitar riffs than your average leather-clad pub band and surprisingly skank-able rhythms buried beneath, the Detroit act’s well-oiled blend of blues, punk, and rockabilly, Forever For Hire, will please as many as it will piss off for the chances it takes.

Held together by the dark baritone and slap happy upright bass strokes of Vic Victor, The Koffin Kats hit some highs on this Stomp Records release. The hip shakin’ groove of “Graveyard Tree Zero,” the fast-then-slow sexiness of “Small Block and Flathead,” and the Rise Against meets Less Than Jake political war cry of “Saw My Friend Explode Today” make these a few of the best songs the band has yet to write. Lyrically the band, for the first time in their six-year history, has allowed the influence of politics to creep in. “Heading Off to Battle” is a somber tune with an eerie battle drum beat that was inspired by the war in Iraq and the troops that are stuck there. It marks a mature step forward for the band’s direction.

When psychobilly refuses to evolve it becomes tedious, but with bands like Tiger Army, Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers, 7 Shot Screamers, and The Koffin Kats bursting through the skull shaped mold, there’s hope for the future of a decades-old genre.

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