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Cougar Den Keepondrifter

01. Ash Not Dust 02. Burn the Vatican 03. Between Long Lines 04. Short Bus Front Flip 05. 9.4.06 06. It Is the Flash Which Appears 07. The Thunderbolt Will Follow 08. Party Awesome 09. East'll Meet West Anyway
2008 Init Records
Our score 7

by Nick

Init Records continues to be a hidden gem amongst metal and hardcore labels. The South Dakota DIY operation has been responsible for some stellar releases from Battlefields, Building Better Bombs, and Kidcrash as of late, with the latter providing an excellent transition into the label's most recent offering from Milwaukee's Cougar Den. On their debut full-length, Keepondrifter, the trio delivers nine tracks of intelligent, well-crafted screamo with strong nods to Hot Cross, making the album yet another hit in the Init Records catalog. But even though the Hot Cross comparison is quite accurate on many levels, Cougar Den does attempt to establish their own brand of screamo songwriting. The spastic outbursts of Hot Cross releases like Cryonics and A New Set of Lungs aren't emphasized as heavily on Keepondrifter, and neither are the melodic guitar acrobatics of Risk Revival. Instead, Cougar Den often employs a mixture of slower, driving bass lines and noisy guitar strumming to propel their tracks. Individual songs are consistently five to six minutes a piece, giving the trio ample room to display their great knack for song development while remaining focused enough prevent to prevent flirtation with tedium. When these superb song progressions are combined with a barrage of passionate vocals, Cougar Den definitely earn the spot of being worthy musical peers to label and genre mates Kidcrash. Album opener "Ash Not Dust" is the perfect example of Cougar Den's songwriting excellence, as it progresses from an energetic, hook-filled beginning to a slower dirge of a midsection before barreling toward an emotional pinnacle for a close. And on the other end of the record, closer "East'll Meet West Anyway" flows back and forth between periods accentuated by walls of melody-carrying guitar lines and powerful sections driven by heavy-hitting drumming throughout its six and a half minute duration. The result is instrumentation that is every bit as intense as the vocals. The guys in Cougar Den aren't quite forging their own path in underground music, but their execution of screamo staples and ability to put their own unique touches on the genre make Keepondrifter a very engaging release. At the very least, anyone on the fence should be pulled in by the excellent packaging the disc offers, as it features the work of the always impressive Aaron Horkey. This is definitely a band to keep an eye on in the future. Bottom Line: Fans of Hot Cross and Kidcrash should check out Cougar Den's Keepondrifter, a full-length on which the Milwaukee trio managed to nail a lot of screamo fundamentals en route to delivering well-written, passionate mini-epics. It's not quite ground-breaking, but it's still solid on all fronts.


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anonymous 1/10/2009 11:22:41 AM


foojahis_ 1/10/2009 11:33:09 AM

this band rules.

anonymous 1/10/2009 11:44:42 AM

doesn't sound like hot cross at all but i dig it.

dickweed luva_ 1/10/2009 12:57:23 PM

shit band, hope they all die

Fur_Beach_ 1/10/2009 1:59:54 PM

hxcobd trap

cantfakethepunk_ 1/10/2009 2:24:03 PM

i thought i was gonna like this band. ehhhh, i was proven wrong. they could have been better

Oaraka B'Bama_ 1/10/2009 2:41:48 PM

I enjoy this band a lot, init records has a solid catelog of sweeeeeeeeeet shit.

azcomp_ 1/10/2009 3:20:41 PM

"The guys in Cougar Den aren't quite forging their own path in underground music..." girl drummer

anonymous 1/10/2009 5:06:53 PM

gay music for gay f*cks

anonymous 1/10/2009 5:42:15 PM

yeah man football

Godfather_ 1/11/2009 12:13:27 AM

How dare you not mentioned Caligari or the fact that this is ex kungfu rick.

wrong_ 1/11/2009 10:08:15 AM

^^^ There is no one from kungfu rick in this band.

Godfather_ 1/11/2009 2:48:47 PM


wtf_ 1/11/2009 3:16:32 PM

huh??? sick shows, pretty good recording

xote_ 1/12/2009 2:48:27 AM

Sinking Steps ... Rising Eyes and The Examination of the... were the best Init bands ever. Need to check this out.

moustachemassacre_ 1/12/2009 11:57:21 AM

Good band. Good release.

anonymous 1/12/2009 1:34:19 PM

i'm pretty sure i have a fat mom porno somewhere called Cougar Den, and i'm pretty sure that porno offers far more entertainment value than this horseshit band.

haloxxxmoshcore_ 1/12/2009 3:24:42 PM

review the new emmure so i can read about shit i care about

Godfather_ 1/13/2009 10:25:52 AM

xote... you're forgetting Caligari.

cantfakethepunk_ 1/13/2009 1:17:54 PM

i f*ck guys

DIY_ 1/13/2009 3:22:54 PM


cantfakethepunk_ 1/14/2009 1:19:39 PM

i f*ck guys posted by cantfakethepunk () on 1/13/2009 1:17:54 PM I Most certainly do my friend. right on!

ya motha_ 1/15/2009 3:14:28 PM

why is lambgoat even reviewing shit like this pssy band. i bet these kids dont shower, have dumb haircuts and big stupid old man glasses and they wear fanny packs like idiots and the music is sooooo over everybodys head. get f*cked. if you like this band youre an idiot. listen to real hardcore. pssy

cantfakethepunk_ 1/15/2009 4:27:58 PM

actually i will not. cause this cd sucks

anonymous 1/15/2009 6:51:05 PM

nobody from kungfu rick or caligari is in the band. nor do they have stupid hair or big glasses.

cantfakethepunk_ 1/17/2009 12:53:18 PM

just got done sucking a dck while listening to this again. awful album but the dck was fantastic!

cantfakethepunk_ 1/17/2009 2:36:09 PM

dck? just replaced that with my girlfriends pssy. dont touch dck, i play with pssy

cantfakethepunk_ 1/19/2009 1:18:05 PM

i love to suck c-ck