those crosstown rivals
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those crosstown rivals

Lexington, Kentucky, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Lexington, Kentucky, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Southern Rock




"Review: Those Crosstown Rivals – “Hell and Back”"

The third full-length release from Kentucky boys Those Crosstown Rivals, Hell and Back, is essentially a really fresh-sounding southern rock album.
The first track is also the title track, hooking you in right away with an almost bluesy intro. The vocals are really well balanced with the sound, with the kind of low register that I want to hear when a song is singing about drinking whiskey and the road to hell and back. The second song has a similar sound but has a faster-paced rock feel to it.
I think that “Six String,” the third song, is quintessential. Somehow I have this perception that southern musicians really love their six strings. This song actually makes me appreciate that perception. “Diary” is probably my favorite song off of the album, though. I have a weakness for songs about records and driving around on summer nights, and while it is really fast-paced like the rest of the album, it has a slightly less heavy sound that really breaks up the album and is pretty refreshing. It got off to a slow start and I was initially afraid it was going to be one of those ballads reminiscent of 80s metal bands, that just never sound quite right, or a song with way too much country influence.
Of course, “Diary” does lead directly into a song called “The Rain” where you can distinctly hear that country twang in the instrumental lines. Despite this influence, it is still a strong and fitting component of the album, not deviating too far from their sound. It was at this point in the album where I also start searching for a drawl from the lyricist, a drawl that I kind of wish had been easier to find (you can hear it a bit in some of the lines in the final song). The following song, “Look at Me,” starts off at a moderate pace but creates a really good transition from the slow, twangy-rock. It really picks up about 2 minutes in and ties in really well to the beginning of the album.
I normally take issue with the final song on albums because a lot of the time they are not strong enough, in my opinion, and I often find myself listening to almost a full album and switching over a few songs before the end. In this case the final song is another one of my favorites; it is just really dynamic and a strong example of the different aspects of TCR’s sound.
TCR’s Hell and Back is definitely a really strong (slightly southern) rock and roll album; with a rock sound just light enough to keep me playing this album all summer long. Their southern influence does seem to go in different directions at times, but an album as consistently strong as this one shows they certainly deserve, and will hopefully start to see more, recognition. - For the Love of Punk

"Review: Those Crosstown Rivals "Hell and Back""

Unabashed rock and roll is the best way to describe Hell and Back, the latest release from Lexington, Kentucky’s Those Crosstown Rivals.

Ideally split into two sides, the first four songs are the sound of a street fight through various circles of Hell; the second, a retelling of the first’s experiences and the comfort of coming out alive, albeit scraped and bruised. Not beholden to any one style or genre, Hell and Back crunches riff-heavy rock (“Hell and Back”), punk urgency (“Be a Man”) and country touches (“The Rain”), culminating in the fight-another-day anthem, “Blood, Sweat and Tears.”

Music as life blood is leached from songs like the cathartic “Six Strings” and “The Diary” with its references to Lucero and Neil Young. Paired with whiskey, music is a numbing salve for Those Crosstown Rivals, one that keeps the pain in check until scarred over into badges of honor for moments lived and survived.

As singer Bryan Minks boasts on “Look at Me” (originally released as a split 7″ with Arliss Nancy), “I chose that path / That you wouldn’t take,” leaving listeners with only one decision to make: which instrument — guitar or drums — will you air mime while banging your head and pumping your fists to Hell and Back.

Stream/purchase Hell and Back below. - Bucket full of Nails

"Those Crosstown Rivals Hell and Back album review"

The Misfits. The ones that count. It was the first thing that popped into my head when it started playing the first time. Which is great, at least to me. This is a heavier album. Rock n’ Roll drums, driven guitars and vocals that have some soar to them. Now I wouldn’t rob a bank, but if I did, I’d be driving a getaway car Jason Statham style to this album. This album is one you can speed off and let your badmotorfinger fly at the world.

"Hell And Back" is the opening title track from Those Crosstown Rivals’s new album. This album just has balls. It lets you know it and reminds you of that fact throughout the album.

I really dig “Ugly Side”, “Be A Man”, “Look At Me” and “Blood Sweat And Tears”. This album just has a familiar feel to it. It’s fresh and original, but the vibe is what it should be. It’s one of the things that I really like about Those Crosstown Rivals.

Go scoop up your copy here:

Follow Those Crosstown Rivals on Facebook & Twitter to stay up to date on tour info. - Fuck Yeah Alt Country Boys

"Michelle Evans interviews Brian Minks of Those Crosstown Rivals"

Those Crosstown Rivals are a high-energy, high-emotion, straight-up ballsy band out of one of my favorite towns, Lexington, KY. I was stoked for a chance to talk to Bryan Minks about the making of their new album, Hell and Back (on pre-order now), and what it means to them to share their music with fans and friends. Be sure to check back tomorrow, too, for a Ninebullets review.

What is the story behind Hell and Back?
It was painful. The lyrics were written by my wife, Erica, and I during a year where I feel like we’d literally been drug to hell and managed to crawl back out. Erica was suffering from unbearable pain due to a rare neurological condition. She’d spent weeks in the hospital, been through three brain surgeries, and too many nights in the ER. We really didn’t know what tomorrow held, and it felt like there was no light waiting at the end of the tunnel. So we just started putting those feelings into the songs. The first four tracks of the record really deal with the feelings felt during these dark times (hell) and the idea of uncertainty. Not knowing what tomorrow holds, not knowing if there will be a tomorrow, and learning how to deal with that. The second half of the record focuses more on the idea of acceptance and hope. I developed an understanding that even though some paths within life may be forced on you, it doesn’t dictate your destination. You may just have to take the long way, or you may have to put up a fight, and I’m ok with that. I guess we all have to be. But, those ideas drive the second half of the record. Living the moment, appreciating the uncertainty, and finding hope and content in whatever path you take.

Wow, thank you for sharing that, and thank you for making a record out of it. I’m sorry y’all went through that, and I’m glad you were able to keep hope.

Thank you.

Sure. Well, I’d like to know some background on the band. How and when did y’all form?

Back in 2010, we were just a group friends who’d get together to drink and play music. We all came from musical backgrounds but hadn’t been in bands for years. We’d get together as often as possible, and stay in the basement for hours writing/playing music. We were really raw, and, at the time, there wasn’t really a vision for TCR. It was just a mish-mash of influences. We started playing live in the fall of 2010, and shortly after that, put out our first recording. In 2011, when we started writing Kentucky Gentlemen, we started to fall into our style. Energy and emotion is something we always put a lot of emphasis on with our live shows. But it is difficult to translate to record, and we’ve admittedly failed at this before. I finally believe with Hell and Back, the energy and the emotion has translated through, and we’ve fallen into who we are.

I would say I have to agree with you. It’s definitely an energetic and emotional record, which I personally appreciate. Well, hey, tell us what’s going on right now, and what’s coming up?

We finished out 2013 with a tour through the midwest to Colorado, then came back home and played a show with Lucero and Titus Andronicus. Since then, we’ve been on break for the winter, but get going again here in a few weeks. I’m pretty excited about the show’s coming up. We’re doing most of March with either Ned Van Go (Nashville) or Jeremy Porter and the Tucos (Detroit). Both bands are good friends of ours, and we always have a blast with them. Our record release show is going to be on 3/15 in Lexington, KY with good friends Ned Van Go, Doc Feldman, and the Vibrolas.

Any highlights or anecdotes?

All of tour is really a highlight, even the shitty nights. Most people don’t understand what its like to tour, or they think its just a good time. Tour is tough. You’re crammed in a van with everyone for hours on end, you play more shit shows than you’d like to admit, you have fights, you get robbed, but it’s all worth it, because, at the end of the day, you get to play your music for new fans and old friends. And that’s a damn good feeling, and it’s the only feeling that matters.

I’ve been privileged (or crazy) enough to spend a lot of time going on road trips, and I’ve spent time with musicians on tour on some of those, and you’re right. It’s hard, and I’m only with them, like, a few days at a time. [laughs]

Anyway, I was told I should ask you what “like men do” means?

It’s really just a play on pop culture and the diminishing idea of male masculinity. Or maybe its more about us not giving a shit and just being a bunch of self proclaimed bad asses. Boys used to be taught that its okay to be masculine, tough, and aggressive when appropriate. Now you rarely see that portrayed in our culture. Everyone’s too worried about offending someone or setting the wrong example. We really just don’t give a shit. We’re men, we’re southern, and we do manly things. Whether it be playing so hard you throw-up, drinking too much whiskey, wearing leather, 4:00 a.m. party in a cheap hotel’s hot tub, or just being a miserable hungover mess in the back of a van, we do shit like men do.

Wellllll, being a woman and someone who does all of those things, I can’t say I agree with a single thing you just said, but, since y’all don’t give a shit, we’ll just leave it at that. - Nine Bulletts

"Those Crosstown Rivals unleash a mess of killer tunes"

Bursting from the speakers with wild abandon the new record - Hell and Back - from Kentucky’s Those Crosstown Rivals (TCR) hits you like a sucker punch to the jaw. An all out guitar driven assault on the listener’s ears these guys have delivered an album that demands to be listened to at high decibels. The music is fast and furious as Bryan Minks’ growling vocals spew out songs about kicking a**, playing music and making bad decisions.

The album opens with soulful keys before Minks informs us that the “devil is scratching at his soul”. Once the pleasantries have been dispensed with, that is when all hell breaks loose on "Hell and Back". Nick Walters’ vicious guitar, TJ Taylor’s pounding drums and Cory Hanks thumping bass supply the soundtrack to TCR’s round trip voyage into the abyss. As listeners join them on this voyage their music is equal parts Drive-By Truckers, Replacements and Motorhead. Check out “Be A Man”, built around Walters’ guitar licks, (like most of their tunes) it is a punk infused juggernaut about wrestling with making the right decisions. The soothing sounds of a pedal steel infiltrate “The Rain” giving it the right amount of twang and using rain as a relationship metaphor while “Blood, Sweat and Tears” harnesses classic southern rock flavors in a track about the trials of life. Anchoring the album is the blistering “Ugly Side”. Loaded with metal riffs and machine gun drumming they deliver a high octane number that is pure adrenaline.

From start to finish Hell and Back never quits. An all encompassing rocker, this album will wear you out. When the fuzzy guitars fade from your speakers and TCR has finished dragging you through their own personal bar fight you will be picking the glass out of your hair for weeks. Don’t be scared, man up and treat yourself to a mighty fine collection of songs. - The Exaimner

"Those Crosstown Rivals have a new record"

Welcome to another day of our new music bonanza here at Incognito HQ. I know you’re probably expecting Take ‘Er Easy Thursday, but I am working my way through a host of new albums. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the great things about doing this as long as I have is that now some bands are coming back around for a second feature. Last year, I featured a split 7″ of Arliss Nancy and Those Crosstown Rivals. Now Those Crosstown Rivals is back with a full-length album Hell and Back.

The album opens with the title track, and it’s a pretty good track to hook you. It starts with some groovy organ and a beat that will get your head moving. Then you hear the lyrics and you realize that – like a lot of great rock n roll songs – this is a song about the devil. Frankly, it’s hard to go wrong with a rock n roll song about the devil.

The next song “Ugly Side” opens with a riff that has the same loud and nasty quality you expect from Nashville Pussy. The drums in this song are amazing. It’s the kind of sound you would expect to hear from the drummer at an arena show.

I’ll be honest. I have to put this album on my ongoing list of albums that I’ll consider for my favorite albums of 2014. This is just a great rock record. This album will get you pumping your fist (just try listen to “Be a Man” without pumping your fist) and playing some wicked air guitar. Raucous guitars, driving rhythms, and volume levels that will make parents everywhere cringe: what more do you want? Hell and Back is available now on iTunes. - Incognito Magazine

"Those Crosstown Rivals prove Rock n Roll is still very much alive with the new album “Hell and Back”"

Pumping fists, loud drums, squealing guitars, cold beer, stale smoke, blood, sweat, and tears. Not only does that describe the atmosphere of the last time I saw Those Crosstown Rivals (TCR) play a live show, it’s all the things that make Rock n Roll great. Add hard working, determined, passionate, and talented to the word bank; and you have all the right ingredients needed to make a REAL rock n roll band. Well, Those Crosstown Rivals have successfully met all of those credentials and their new album, Hell and Back, is proof that rock n roll will never die.

First and foremost, Hell and Back successfully does what a lot of records have trouble doing; it harnesses the energy, passion, and emotion of a live performance and seamlessly translates that through this album. It will only take you 35 seconds (check me, I tested it) into this album before you have to make a decision: One, play it safe and just stick to listening to your local “rock” stations, or buckle up and get ready for a ride through the southern streets of Kentucky at 200mph; leaving nothing behind but fire and smoke. TCR wastes no time in making it very clear what they’re bringing to the table on this album with the title trackHell and Back. Imagine a boxing match; round one, bell rings, gloves touch, BAM! Right outta the gate you get hit with a left/ right combo that leaves yours face numb and your ears ringing; you now know you’re in for one helluva fight. Oh, did I mention that your opponent is the devil? “The Devil stood before me, snarling, bloody grin, I said you picked you picked a fight, you ain’t gonna win. I’ll go to hell when the whiskey drowns me and I stop living fast, I’ll go when Kentucky sends me so you can kiss my ass.” Boom. Lights out, Lucifer; you just got knocked the f**ck out! This track isn’t about fighting with your demons or anything like that though, this is song is about fighting for your family, your loved ones, they’re lives. This track, like a handful of other TCR tracks (new and old) was written by Erica Minks, Bryan’s wife. Erica was literally fighting for her life most of last year during the making of the album. These lyrics are more than just words; they are the battle cry of someone refusing to give in, refusing to quit, and eventually coming out on top. You think these boys are tough? I wouldn’t bet against Erica either; she’s already proven you’ll lose.

This album, consisting of 8 tracks, is a beast of a rock n roll record from start to finish. Fast-paced, heavy, bass riffs lay the foundation for this rowdy album, while the drums hit with so much force you can feel it in your chest and the loud, squealing, decibel-busting guitars riffs perfectly weave in and out of the tracks like a man-possessed and running from the law. Technically speaking, this album is broken up into two sides: The first four songs show the fear of the unknown; when the sun comes up, are things going to be forever changed? Your nervous, anxious and angry; hanging by a thread not knowing what tomorrow brings and you refusing to accept anything different. The Ugly Side may be the most heartfelt, emotional song on this album. Look past the fuzzy, screaming guitars, and the deadly, piercing drums, and take a real hard listen to the lyrics; they are haunting, horrific, emotional, and beautiful. “I kissed your lips, before they took you away, looked you in the eyes but couldn’t find the words to say. I’ve never felt so alone laying in a hospital floor, covered in your blood, I can’t take this shit no more.” That’s pure emotion, pure heartbreak, because it’s real; TCR isn’t afraid to show there vulnerabilities, their real sides, I hope you’re prepared.

The second half of this album is more about remaining positive and acknowledging the fact that some things will never change; you just have to accept the facts, learn to deal, remain optimistic and continue living your life; “I live this day, I live it just for you, just to get by and to get on through” (Look at Me). You can’t forget to enjoy life either, whether it’s reminiscing about past memories like in The Diary: “I’ve got a Lucero record spinning on my mind, the one we fell in love to on those summer nights” or reiterating your feelings to the one you love like in the pedal steel driven ballad The Rain: “You know there ain’t no times like the good times. When it rains it rains for a while but leave me here today with one thing, just leave me here today with your smile.” Damn boys. Underneath all the hair, beards, tattoos, scars, and sweat-drenched clothing lies a heart; a big one at that. Who knew!? The final track on this album, Blood, Sweat and Tears, is a rock n roll anthem of sorts that I challenge you not to like. On a record where the track listing is laid out like chapters of a book, Blood, Sweat and Tears is the perfect conclusion. It’s a foot-stomping, fist-pounding tune that will leave you singing the chorus on repeat in your head after the first listen. It’s pure unabashed rock n roll at its finest.

This album isn’t very long, it only consist of 8 tracks but those 8 track mesh together so perfectly it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Those Crosstown Rivals accomplished exactly what they set out to do with this album; play damn good, loud, wild, southern, rock n roll. Don’t be surprised when after the album ends, you catch yourself starting it right back over from the beginning; it’s that good and deserves its own place in any rock n roll or punk rock fan’s collection. Want to know how they were able to bring the heat to this album similar to the intensity of their live shows? All the instrumentation except for a couple leads, keys, and pedal steel were recorded live, in a room, with just the four of them present; every song was recorded in 1-3 takes. This album is definitely on my radar for a best of list of 2014; only one question remains for the boys from Kentucky, “Where we going from here?”

Those Crosstown Rivals are: Bryan Minks (guitar/vox) Cory Hanks (bass) Nick Walters (guitar) and TJ Taylor (drums). However, one person who doesn’t get enough credit for their part in this band (and putting up with this gang of misfits) is Erica Minks. As I said previously, Erica is responsible for writing a handful of the songs TCR has published. Grab a digital copy of Hell and Back now from any of the following and pre-order the album today! - Bhamfm


2010 - Day After Yesterday
2012 - Kentucky Gentlemen
2013 - Those Crosstown Rivals/Arliss Nancy Split
2014 - Hell and Back



Those Crosstown Rivals hail from Lexington, Ky and their music bleeds southern tradition with a punk rock feel. You can hear hints of classic rock and roll, punk rock, roots and country influence. The songs have true conviction and the music crosses boundaries. Think and angry Gaslight Anthem, who grew up in the hills of Kentucky.  The band tours year round and has found themselves sharing the stage with Lucero, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, The Futurebirds, Arliss Nancy, Sleeper Agent, Company of Thieves, Fifth on the Floor,  among a few.

Those Crosstown Rivals was born with a few friends playing music in a tiny, dirty basement, just living life; filling an empty garbage can full of cheap beer cans and having a damn good time. From the beginning they sought to join musical talents for one reason: Create music that makes you forget about all the shit life handed you by singing about it and have fun. This feeling is contageous when they are on stage - and the crowd is always extremely energetic. A typical TCR show leaves the stage lined w/ shot glasses of the cheapest damn whiskey available - paid for by the fans.

Band Members