Album Review: Koffin Kats – “Born Of The Motor”

I don’t often listen to albums as I’m reviewing them, but the Koffin Kats latest release, Born of the Motor, is simply too damn good to hit the “eject” button… And, might I add, rather conducive to the writing process; at least moreso than their previous albums.

Hailing from Motor City itself, Born of the Motor is an apt title for the band’s eighth album (and yes, I’m counting their Our Way and the Highway EP as an “album”). Musically, it showcases a more developed sound compared to the band’s earlier days, and the lyrics reflect a storied emotional expressiveness from the Detroit trio not seen in their past work. In short, it’s a mellower take on the driving psychobilly sound the Kats have made all their own; yet refreshing nonetheless.

Fans will undoubtedly notice a marked difference, rather improvement, in production quality of this album versus past releases; due in large part to the mastering brilliance of Adam Ayan of Foo Fighters, Nirvana, and Rolling Stones fame.

Despite presenting a cleaner, tighter sound, however, the band’s approach to Born of the Motor still provides glimpses of the grit and grime you’d come to expect from the Kats. “All of Me Is Gone” gets the ball rollin’ and establishes the overwhelmingly persistent vibe of the album itself; a consistency that is simultaneously endearing and mildly irksome, as the tracks seem to lack some of the energy of the bands previous releases.

For the swing-dancin’ kats and kittens, “Giving Blood” and “This Heart (Stays On Ice)” offer up ample opportunity for you to put those dancing lessons to good use in the next K.K. pit.

Lead singer Vic Victor’s voice is eerily (and pleasantly) reminiscent of Danzig’s earlier Misfits material and impressively borders on damn near operatic at times.

Born of the Motor is a fresh take on a sound Koffin Kats fans have come to adore and embrace over the years, and while it may be a tad more on the subdued side than some of their previous work, it’s still damn good.

4/5 Stars

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