You’re probably like me. You just want a little bit of Ska Punk to listen to. Maybe you want it to be flavored with a delicate hint of Bluebonnets? Why wouldn’t you? Well then dig into this. “With A Vengeance” is the 4th full album from Austin TX band Hans Gruber and the Die Hards, and it’s pretty damn kickass!
Pre-order’s for the 2nd pressing can be found here.
The album opens with a cumbia inspired track, “Nothing Like a Good Old Fashioned Witch Hunt”. The band has this to say about it:
“Nothing Like a Good Old Fashioned Witch Hunt” started as a musical exploration into Kurt’s obsession with the horn heavy Cumbia sounds he was introduced to while living in Texas. Not being one to shy away from cramming several genres together, we also managed to flow through some hardcore and punk rhythms in the piece.
Lyrically, this song represents some stream of consciousness frustrations Kurt had with some of his friends, family and self, that, in retrospect, also reflect some of the more bizarre aspects of modern American culture.
We’d love to tell you the old fashioned 3D effects applied to this music video is about world views and our split nation. But it’s just because we thought it looked cool. Feel free to read into it and give the video some depth and meaning for us.
“With a Vengeance” is the most “Hans Gruber and the Die Hards-y” album we’ve done. Cliche as it is to say, it’s been a weird time getting this out and we can’t be more proud.
~Kurt, Rosey and Chris
The music and lyrical content is diverse. From the highly controversial “No No Bronto”, a ska punk treatise on the non-existence of the Brontosaurus to the sweep arpeggios accompanying the doom metal sounds of “My Friend Chuck”, into the haunting proto-occult wailings of “Vril Society”, each track rings out a distinct piece of the cohesive whole.
The clearly tongue-in-cheek lyrics of “Let’s Drive Everywhere” provided a glimpse into the band’s environmental standpoint. “Squatcore” featuring Omnigone is a shout along punk rock banger extolling the virtues of physical fitness, obviously.
16 tracks in 29 minutes sets for a breakneck pace, punctuated by an interesting theatrical intermission with their cover of Brazil. It’s a fantastic album. I highly encourage you to check it out, if you haven’t already. As a final note, if you have dandruff, you may want to double check that it isn’t actually ghosts and/or demons. Can’t be too safe.
1. Nothing Like a Good Old Fashioned Witch Hunt 01:59
2. No No Bronto 01:46
3. My Friend Chuck 01:20
4. Vril Society 02:18
5. No Outside Tanks 01:52
6. Time, I Don’t Want It Anymore 01:25
7. Blood on the Walls 00:42
8. Brazil 02:21
9. Let’s Drive Everywhere 01:58
10. An Old Man Like Me 02:17
11. Monster of Walgren Lake 02:26
12. Credit Cards are a Product of Satan 01:33
13. Dandruff 01:21
14. You’re Being Watched 01:49
15. Squatcore feat. Adam Davis 01:14
16. Praise to the Algorithm 02:30
Hans Gruber and the Die Hards is:
Chris Thompson – Drums, Vocals, Theremin, Ukulele
Rosey Armstrong – Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
Kurt Armstrong – Vocals, Bass, Trombone, Kazoo
Hans Emanuelson – Guitars, Keys, Trumpet, Ukulele, Backing Vocals
Nick Tozzo – Timbales, Congas, Triangle, Guira, Shaker, Tambourine on Tracks 1, 8 and 9
Eric Molina – Baritone Saxophone on Track 1
Jose Noriega – Sousaphone on Tracks 2, 8 and 13
Dave Cavallo – Backup Vocals on Tracks 3 and 8
Drew Leclaire – Backup Vocals on Track 8, Theremin on Track 4
Adam Davis – Vocals on Track 15
Co-Produced, Mixed and Recorded by Drew Leclair
Recorded at Studio 8522, Hokus Tracks and Vine Recording. Mixed at Vine Recording.
Mastered by Luis Crivelli
Menacingly fun, Hans Gruber and the Die Hards brand of punk/ska mashes genres together like a toddler eating chocolate cake – with messy intensity for maximum enjoyment. From Boston hardcore to Colombian cumbia, southern gospel to crossover thrash, their live shows are filled with pits, sock puppets, conga lines and confusion – if you are nihilistic enough to jump in feet first.
Formed in Austin, TX as a four piece in 2014, the band shamelessly embraces change. Over the years they added a full time Saxophone player, as well as parted ways with two of their founding members. Their newest album, “With A Vengeance,” represents the best of times with the former lineup, the struggles of a new era after their departure, and finding a new voice through these very same songs.
Much like their ability to combine musical genres, their lyrics tread a fine line between metaphor, truth, sarcasm and lies, assuming their audiences have the know-how to join them on this magical journey.
Possessed by unbridled joy for music, Hans Gruber and the Die Hards continue to push forward looking for the next venue to haunt as they chant: IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!