Psychobilly isn’t exactly known for being a genre of great diversity. A lot of it follows the same formula- the speed of punk rock, with the swagger of rockabilly, and songs about vampires, zombies and other assorted ghouls. On their latest release, “Our Way Or The Highway,” Koffin Kats have decided to mix up the formula a little bit, shifting the focus away from the supernatural and a little bit more towards personal experience and life rather than the afterlife.
The opening track, “Riding High,” displays the signature psychobilly style, with Vic Victor’s distinct theatrical vocals. Whether he is singing about highways and motorcycles, or murderous couples, Vic Victor has such a distinct vocal styling that one cannot mistakes Koffin Kats for any other band.
Despite being pinned to the psychobilly genre, Koffin Kats have broken away from much of the defining characteristics of the genre. Not many songs on “Our Way And The Highway” discuss the gruesome or the supernatural, and even the band’s ongoing “Graveyard Tree” song series has been put on hold for this release.
Rather than focusing on literal ghouls and demons, Koffin Kats face their own demons, namely battling alcohol. Tracks like “The Bottle Called” show that ignoring the force of alcohol is no easy feat. However, sometimes, with tracks like “Keep It Coming” and “It Happens Every Night,” partying and drinking are just as much a part of normal life as breathing.
“Baby Don’t Love You,” while focusing on relationships, still sounds entirely in place in the Koffin Kats catalogue. The song also contains possibly the best Elvis impersonation to be found in psychobilly music.
Fans of Koffin Kats will not be disappointed with “Our Way And The Highway.” Despite the fact that it focuses less on supernatural demons and more on personal ones, it still has the high energy of previous Koffin Kats releases. The blistering guitar, coupled with frenzied upright bass slapping make this an album that will keep mosh pits moving, even long after the song is over.