Kublai Khan – Lowest Form of Animal (EP Review)

Kublai Khan TX – Lowest Form of Animal
Released: April 1, 2022

Line Up:

Matt Honeycutt // Vocals
Nolan Ashley // Guitar
Eric English // Bass/Vocals
Isaac Lamb // Drums


Official Website

A big player in the new wave of metalcore, Kublai Khan TX are one of the finest and most pissed off bands in the reinvigorated scene. Their sound is probably the purest definition of the amalgamation of two genres – they combine the power and energy of both metal and hardcore, with the downtuned, grooving riffs of the former and lyrical realism and to-the-point compositions of the latter. On their new EP, Lowest Form of Animal, the Texan four-piece continue to bring the heaviness in a massive way.

With five tracks and under a 15 minute run time, Lowest Form of Animal is an adrenaline-drenched EP. No excess fat on display at all, with every song a quick, relentless punch in the face. No clean vocals or poppy choruses either; Kublai Khan TX are all about foot-to-the-throat aggression. Lyrically though, that aggression is powerfully and intelligently focused. Frontman Matt Honeycutt and the band have always touched on real-life issues, and Lowest Form of Animal is no different. The opening track, ‘Swan Song’ – which features the always excellent Scott Vogel of Terror – laments the abuse that affects sex workers across the USA and the world. It’s a refreshing change to hear a heavy act focusing on these matters, especially in a style where music can be weighed down by macho posturing and chest-beating.

Lowest Form of Animal’s production is raw, real and huge – it gives the listener the impression that you’re in the rehearsal room with the boys. Considering how polished a lot of other contemporary heavy bands have become, it’s a nice change – so is the almost grainy sounding bass forcing itself through the mix. The one-minute-long ‘Taipan’ is a fast, breathless assault, before moving into the EP’s finest moment, ‘Resentment’. A song first released in October last year, it is amongst the best material Kublai Khan TX has released to date – you can only imagine the destruction that it will cause in a live setting. It’s a riff-fest of a track and features one of the group’s signature traits by ending the number with a beatdown in a completely different feel. It’s devastating and addictive stuff – the ‘take a swing at me’ hook is surely going make this a staple of their setlist for years to come.

At a quarter of an hour long, Lowest Form of Animal flies by, but leaves you salivating for more. Considering the strength of this EP and their previous albums, hopefully, Kublai Khan TX sees this release as a stopgap and puts out a new full-length in the near future. Absolutely crushing stuff from the Texans.

Kublai Khan TX – Lowest Form of Animal tracklisting:

1. Swan Song (feat. Scott Vogel)
2. Loyal to None
3. Taipan
4. Resentment
5. Dynasty

Rating: 8/10
Lowest Form of Animal is out now on Rise Records. Listen here
Review By – Andrew Kapper. Twitter: @andrew_kapper

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