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Band Reviews: Krokmiten and Texas Hippie Coalition

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Hello there, I’m the Raucous Rocker. Today is a special review. No, not because it’s being done during Thanksgiving week (so many TV shows claiming to be Thanksgiving specials just because they’re shown around Thanksgiving time; I have no idea why) but because I am going to start a little series which features bands that followed me on Twitter. I’m always excited and flattered when a band adds me on Twitter (even though I’m sure almost all of them auto-added me in order to get more followers) and this series of reviews is my way of saying thanks–well, as long as their music is good. I’ll continue the project until I run out of bands following me, so if you want me to review you, follow me!

Now that my shameless self-advertising is out of the way, let’s begin my first review of the series. Like I said, these two bands followed me, although one (and only one) of these bands actually messaged me and asked for a review personally, so of course I couldn’t say no. These bands are Krokmiten and Texas Hippie Coalition…wow, that name gets me every time.

KROKMITEN

I will begin with the band who personally asked for the review, Krokmiten. They are an “experimental death metal” band from Canada, who released a very strange album which is basically one long track set to a nearly fifty minute long music video. Now, I have to be honest here–I didn’t listen to the whole thing, only about the first half. Not only is pure brutal death metal not really my thing, but I don’t have a particularly long attention span.  Unless it was Wintersun making a fifty minute-long music video, there’s no way I would be able to sit through it all.  But hey, Jari Maenpaa is about the closest any human has ever gotten to being omnipotent, so that is to be expected.

Anyway, Krokmiten…you know, that name is kind of weird for a band based in Canada with English lyrics.  It sounds more German, like the name of a Rammstein song. Krokmiten is a very ambitious band, and you can easily see this on their album/music video.  The video is also kind of weird, like watching those crazy visuals Windows Media Player shows when you’re playing a song on it but with lyrics and the occasional image of a person or something medical related thrown in.

As I was saying, you can tell this band is really enthusiastic about their music, and it shows; the music is very good in both construction and technical quality, switches around often enough so that you don’t get bored (something that all too often plagues long metal tracks), and all of the musicians are quite good at what they do. The drummer provides intense rhythms while the guitarists shred their instruments and play the occasional solo. It’s reminiscent of early death metal bands like Morbid Angel and Death, except I got tired of those bands’ songs pretty quickly.  This band held my interest for a fairly long time with their cool music video and inspiring songwriting. All in all, they’re not one of my favorite bands but they’re definitely a cut above most death metal acts. Kudos to you, Krokmiten; I expect to see some great things from you in the future.

TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION

Now this band is just a whole lot of fun; think Pantera/Black Label Society meets those Texas country songs you always hear in steakhouse commercials and you’ve got a good idea of what these guys do. They also have the uncanny ability to make several serious contenders for the catchiest songs in metal.  I’m not going to be able to get “Crawlin'” out of my head for days. While none of the band members are wizards on their instruments, they really know how to put songs together, combining all the elements harmoniously and writing simple yet invigorating riffs. For me, they’re a lot better than Pantera, another Southern metal band which I could just never get into (they’re about on par with Black Label Society, although they lack Zakk’s lightning solos), which is not an easy feat for any band.

Anyway, this band has great knowledge of rhythm and creating beats. Both guitarists play along with the bass (which, unfortunately, is rarely audible) and drums to provide a catchy beat for the vocalist while the occasional guitar solo comes in to mix things up. The vocalist is also really good; he sounds like Zakk from BLS with a deeper, more solid voice.  I don’t know, to me, Zakk always sounded like he was slightly drunk when he was singing.  This is really a perfect match for the music; any other voice would feel out of place, but this guy gets the job done perfectly.

So these are the two bands that I chose to review first out of my Twitter followers, and I’ve got to say, it’s a fantastic start. Both of these bands are very good acts and have both talented musicians and strong songwriting skills. Hopefully this will keep on going, as now my hopes are very high for the rest of the bands and I’m looking forward to writing the rest of the reviews. So all I’ve got to say now is thanks to Krokmiten and Texas Hippie Coalition for following me so I could hear your music, and keep it up! I’m looking forward to hearing more from both of you. I’m the Raucous Rocker, see ya!

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