Kringer and the Battle Katz – Space T-Rex (self-released, 2018)

Occasionally, somebody hits me up on the Apathy & Exhaustion Facebook page to see if we can give them a review. Kringer and the Battle Katz being a case in point. I make sure to warn people that I’m going to try and be as honest as possible in my reviews and that I am not in the habit of blowing smoke up people’s arses to protect their delicate egos etc. etc. I asked them for some kind of band bio, but never heard back on that front. So I have gleaned what knowledge I can from the internet. Behold:

Founded in 2015 the soldiers of joy that are the Battle Katz united under the banner of “KRINGER AND THE BATTLE KATZ” to bring you meaty riffs, pounding beats, ear deafening screams, bowel shattering brass notes, and lung rupturing bass lines.

Some call it Nu-Nu metal, some call it a load of old crap, but the Battle Katz call it PARTY METAL!

Verily.

So, armed with this knowledge, plus the fact the band name here seems to be some kind of play on the name of the green feline steed from He-Man & The Masters of the Universe, and my lack of tolerance for wacky nonsense (for which I am renowned; I’m also known for a certain intolerance for bands that try to cross genre boundaries. If motherfuckers are going to try that shit, they’d better be good at carrying off both sides of that genre coin they are ambitiously trying to flip, you know what I’m saying here, I’m sure – it’s probably not you first rodeo, is it mate?), I tentatively hit play, wondering why the person that messaged me was called ‘Pancake’…

Photo ©Johann_Wierzbicki_ROCKFLESH.

I’ve said on many occasions before that I never set out to be unfair to a band or with the intention of disliking music. What I want to hear is stuff that I think is good. It’s the main reason I’m doing these reviews – so I get to check out new stuff that I maybe wouldn’t get to hear otherwise. So let’s get to it.
Initially, I thought this was going to sound like your ska / hardcore crossover bands such as Link 80 or Capdown (the former being a band I thought were reasonable, the latter being one I think are dog shit of the worst stripe imaginable, and a prime example of a crossover band that isn’t good at either genre they were inflicting on anybody with the misfortune to listen). It’s not really like that at all, however. In fact if I had to try and describe this I’d say it sounds a bit like the riffy stoner rock of Clutch, with ska punk type brass, meets really terrible nu metal. This is, in fact like an even worse version of Fishbone. I never imagined such a thing was possible. I can see this lot are trying to pull off something different, something ambitious perhaps. However, the end product seems to fall short of that ambition. There’s unnecessary drum fills on this record that either feel really awkward, or just feel like they are out of time with the rest of the music. If you can’t get the rhythm section right, it totally undermines the effort the rest of the band are putting in. Which is a shame as there are a few decent(ish) riffs on here.

I’m sorry to say it’s a no from me. In fact it’s the second worst thing I’ve heard so far this year. It’s excruciatingly, agonisingly bad. If I had any advice for Kringer and the Battle Katz, it would be to focus on defining the core aspect of their sound and to work on getting that right before they start adding anything extra into the mix.

Tony of Nurgle rating: 2/10

In any case, you can check this out for yourselves on the bandcamp player below and see what you make of it…

The album is available on the CD from the bands’ bandcamp page

Tony of Nurgle is a true child of the North, currently living in exile in Croydon, South East London. He used to co-run a specialist record store in Manchester (Roadkill Records), and also spent a couple of years as a promoter, and put on shows for the likes of Leatherface, the Loved Ones, Lucero, Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, Spy vs Spy, Latterman etc. He also spent several years DJing at shady rock clubs in Manchester, and started the infamous Thursday night "punk room" at Jilly's Rockworld. Also responsible for Middle Finger Response, and collaborated with a couple of friends on a monthly night called Refuse to Lose, which will still occasionally reunite the original DJ line-up - hopefully in the not too distant future. Apart from that, it's all bitterness and a jaundiced view of human nature, rarely skateboarding, often reading books with maps in the front.

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