Hell Paso

Hell Paso

Cult-favorite singer-songwriter Koe Wetzel puts his own spin on the sound of his native East Texas with his fourth solo studio album. Following 2020’s sleeper hit Sellout—winkingly titled such as it marked his first release for a major label, Columbia—Hell Paso is sure to please fans of Wetzel’s rock-heavy brand of alt-country, though this particular outing might feel more at home at a metal festival than on a country stage. Right off the bat, Wetzel clues listeners into Hell Paso’s place as an outlier in his catalog, using opening track “Welcome to Hell Paso” as an explainer of sorts, saying that the project marks the end of an era. While there are moments of country, Wetzel leans heavily into a sound that lands somewhere between grungy alternative and Southern rock, with highlights including single “Creeps” and album cut “Cheers.” And as for those country moments, the album’s most memorable is no doubt “Cabo,” a funny and, at times, harrowing tale of getting swindled by a woman that could make a great plot for a film.

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