Koe Wetzel’s unique voice, deep lyrics, and country music meets punk rock style drew me to his music.
But one night, while I traversed a deep and twisted YouTube rabbit hole, I stumbled upon Koe’s music videos. My life will never be the same.
Images from that night haunt my dreams: dead bodies, flamethrowers, people in furry costumes, and Koe’s belly protruding from countless unbuttoned shirts. But what haunts me most is that I sense these videos depict exactly what it’s like to hang out with Koe Wetzel.
Somewhere in Texas, Koe is unbuttoning his shirt, drinking from a bottle of whiskey, and high-fiving a six-foot bunny rabbit. Koe is the epic friend you had in your twenties who would disappear most nights only to emerge the next morning with a giant smile on his face, only one shoe, and a too-good-to-be-true story to tell.
But once you’re in your thirties, hanging out with that friend on a Saturday night feels dangerous, dirty, and like it will take you until Thursday at noon to recover.
And that’s exactly what happened to me after I binge-watched Koe’s music videos one night. Follow me down the rabbit hole but be sure to line up some Advil and a Gatorade for tomorrow morning.
Good Die Young
This first video sets the tone for Koe’s aura. He’s sentenced to prison for a long time, so the video depicts his last 24 hours of freedom. What would Koe Wetzel do (WWKWD)? Drink heavily, play pool, get some strippers, and hang out with his friend in a furry tiger costume… what?
Like many of Koe’s songs, “Forever” hits hard like one of those punk songs I threw my elbows around to with reckless abandon in high school, and I can’t wait to see this one live.
Like many of Koe’s videos, it expertly depicts a hard-partying atmosphere that can induce a hangover if you’re not hydrated. It starts off innocently enough, with a Smokey and the Bandit-esque road trip caper where the crew outsmarts the cops.
But when the party starts, you’re treated to another stripper, Koe spitting out a mouthful of beer, and a furry wrestling match. The final two scenes are jarring and weird.
Then the credits roll with a “Written By: Koe Wetzel.” This dude is crazy, and I love him.
Cold and Alone
We start with a Breaking Bad, desert landscape and requisite motor home to set the mood.
Then we find Koe playing three heartbroken versions of himself. While we don’t see the trademark unbuttoned shirt in this one, he does wear a Cross Canadian Ragweed crop top and goes shirtless in a kiddy pool with a flamingo floatie around his waist.
Oh, and there’s a furry in the background by the motorhome too, of course.
Sundy or Mundy
Less than a minute in, our boy dumps a dead body into the river. Wow, this is fun.
Koe’s character is traumatized and drives his boat around, smoking cigarettes and crushing Budweisers. He stops to fish, cracking a little smile. The unbuttoned shirt makes a comeback, and he’s still looking like he’s having an ok day here, despite the murderous back story.
“Skip Ad,” I want to watch more.
Happier Alone (Austin Meade ft. Koe Wetzel)
Koe is featured on this song by Austin Meade, but he steals the show as the dancing janitor. Nothing dark about this one, except for the swig from the bottle he’s hiding behind the dumpster, I guess.
This one is just fun, a nice recovery from the dark and twisted path YouTube took us on before. It’s Austin Meade’s song, but Koe’s trademark unbuttoned shirt and dancing furries feature prominently.
February 28, 2016
The crowd chants “Koe F***in’ Wetzel…. Koe F***in’ Wetzel” in the intro, and I almost joined in from my couch. Leave it to Koe to write a song about drunkenly pulling over on the side of the road to take a piss and begging his buddies to take him to Taco Bell, an appropriate final stop on my journey through Koe’s World.
Only he can make a topic that’s so broish sound like a soulful anthem that I will be chanting whenever he makes his way to the West Coast.
This guy sweats authenticity and pushes the boundaries of his art with the full weight of his personality. And for one night, I followed him around the booze-soaked floors and smoky house parties that, minus the furries, reminded me of my early twenties. Thank you, Koe, that was quite a night.