There is something so powerful about the way Agrokulcher sounds that it is nearly impossible to describe. Journalists who are familiar with the band have made many failed attempts to classify the music, carelessly tossing it into a “Goth” bin or worse, comparing them to that band that begins with a “K”. Let’s not even go there. I will do my best to set the mood and bring your mind into the world that is Agrokulcher, but first you’ve got to promise to turn off your tendencies to make comparisons. All set? Let’s go.
Once Agrokulcher released their long-awaited 5-song EP, AGROKULCHER 2000, things began moving and shaking in a way that even the band members themselves probably hoped for, but perhaps did not expect. In the past year alone, Agrokulcher have played for growing audiences all over the Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, paying their dues, sweating it out and playing every club imaginable on the Hollywood dive circuit we have all come to know and love. They’ve taken to the road and have traveled to the dustbowl of central Cali to play a brutal, hometown performance with their brethren in Depswa. They have been painstakingly writing and creating and practicing until their lungs and fingers are throbbing.
The members of this band have been living and breathing their music and still sticking it out at those dreaded “day jobs” just waiting for something to break. Ken Keifer, their relentless manager, has been supporting and promoting them with undying passion and loyalty. With his help, Agrokulcher even managed to turn the usually multi-colored head of the infamous Dennis Rodman, who has practically made them a staple at his last two parties, including Rodman’s 40th birthday bash; a party with a story that hit the local and national media with such fervor that even the Howard Stern Show contacted Matt DeJoy (vocalist) to set the story straight on the air. Agrokulcher was seemingly the band that acted as “the last straw” at the Rodman party, one of the main reasons that caused local authorities to pull the plug on the live music altogether. Too much to handle I guess. No matter. Agrokulcher are making all the right moves and doing it well.
What all of this boils down to are the songs, which are proof positive that this band has what it takes to make it in the shark-infested waters of the music industry. AGROKULCHER 2000 is a 5-song sampler of some of the most supercharged, raw, and exposed metal-based rock that has come down the pipe in the last decade. Highlights of AGROKULCHER 2000 would have to include the first track of the EP, Outer Space. A story about an ultimately doomed relationship between a rebellious son and his controlling father, Outer Space sets the mood, the pace, and creates mindset surrounding the entire set of songs on the EP. This track puts the listener in a chokehold and does not let go until reaching a surprise ending – with otherworldly guitar so skillfully played by Jesse Beltz, and stunning drum work from Gordon Heckaman – leaving us simply breathless.
Another monster track from AGROKULCHER 2000 is a song entitled Bleed For Me, which pops, bounces, and shudders while it audibly barrels right through you. Lyrically, the song describes how it feels to be defeated and hurting in such a way that doesn’t come off sounding whiny or victimized, but more filled to the veins with murderous fury. It is awesome. Three songs later, and the listener is helplessly clenched in the angry fist of Agrokulcher-style mayhem.
And let us not forget to mention the core of that madness. When it comes to performers, not only is Matt (a/k/a: THROAT) one of the most charismatic front men in Hollywood, but also vocally, he is 100% pure rock star. He possesses a voice that demands respect and attention, and this voice is the pillar of discontented fury throughout the EP. He sings as if there is something eating him from the inside out. Expert songwriting, bass-playing and the shredding backing vocals pouring out of Bill Gower only add fuel to a fire that you cannot tear yourself away from.
The past few years have been overflowing with what everyone so desperately wants to call “New (Nu) Metal”. Simply stated, Agrokulcher are too fucking good for that. This is one band that has driven a nail into a coffin filled with uninformed, uninteresting labels, and has broken the hammer in half.