The Hellbenders | Today We Kill... Tomorrow We Die

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Rock: Surf Rock Country: Western Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Today We Kill... Tomorrow We Die

by The Hellbenders

The Hellbenders are a great spaghetti western / surf / country / cowpoke combo featuring 3/4 of renowned surf/instro band (and Estrus recording artists) The Volcanos.
Genre: Rock: Surf Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Today We Kill... Tomorrow We Die
4:32 $0.99
2. Winchester Justice
2:44 $0.99
3. All I Can Do Is Cry
2:12 $0.99
4. Desert Standoff
0:53 $0.99
5. Unmarked Grave
2:50 $0.99
6. Big River
2:38 $0.99
7. Waiting To Kill
1:18 $0.99
8. Sabata
3:04 $0.99
9. A Gringo Like Me
2:45 $0.99
10. The Big Gundown
3:00 $0.99
11. Run, Billy, Run
2:46 $0.99
12. Siboney
2:28 $0.99
13. Unmarked Grave Revisited
0:44 $0.99
14. The Ghosts Of Boot Hill
4:00 $0.99
15. Runnin' Wild
1:53 $0.99
16. A Taste Of Death
0:27 $0.99
17. Gunfight At The O.K. Corrall
2:26 $0.99
18. Have A Good Funeral, My Friend
2:29 $0.99
19. On The Run
2:14 $0.99
20. The Gunman Left Standing
3:42 $0.99
21. The Hellbenders (I Crudeli)
3:59 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Hellbenders are a great spaghetti western / country / cowpoke combo featuring 3/4 of renowned surf/instro band The Volcanos. After releasing two great CD's for Estrus Records, along with a whole bunch of 7"ers, most of the band decided to do a "side-project" and came up with this fabulous 21 track release. Featuring 9 instrumental songs, 8 vocal songs and 4 short instrumental interludes, this is great listening for fans of The Sadies, Ennio Morricone, Friends Of Dean Martinez, Johnny Cash and Calexico.

Here's what the press has said about 'Today We Kill...Tomorrow We Die':

Well, all I can say is, it's about time! There's just nothing better than when a great band finally gets around to their debut CD and it's easily as good as I could hope for. The Hellbenders have been teasing us with brilliant spaghetti western surf for a long time. Now, a full album of brilliant music, surfed and polished and sequenced like an Italian soundtrack release. The band includes a number of very cool vocals with rich surf-spaghetti guitars too, including "All I Can Do Is Cry," Johnny Cash's "Big River," the delightful "A Gringo Like Me," "Run, Billy Run," "The Ghosts Of Boot Hill," "Gunfight At The O.K. Corral," and "On The Run"

Picks: Today We Kill... Tomorrow We Die, Winchester Justice, Unmarked Grave, Waiting To Kill, Sabata, The Big Gundown, Siboney, Runnin' Wild, Have A Nice Funeral My Friend, The Gunman Left Standing, The Hellbenders

"Today We Kill... Tomorrow We Die" 4 stars

Glorious reverbed twang chord and western rhythm launched "Today We Kill... Tomorrow We Die." The Hellbenders propagate a splendid spaghetti western intro with a rich cactus sound and feel. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Spaghetti Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Winchester Justice" 5 stars

Ultra wet guitar gently runs a western riff and spaghetti drums carry the beat. "Winchester Justice" is a splendid song with a rich heritage of the old west the way Ennio Morricone morphed it, then brought back around to the American sound. Excellent!
Spaghetti Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Desert Standoff" 3 stars

Dangerous, scenic in the stubby guitar ambush way... "Desert Standoff" is much like soundtrack sequences for a real live spaghetti western. A kind of interlude.
Spaghetti Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Unmarked Grave" 5 stars

This is a splendid track in the wholly original way that only the Hellbenders reinvent spaghetti western. Great reverbed surf rhythm guitar, liquid hanging tree melody, and military drums. "Unmarked Grave" is a splendid song!
Spaghetti Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Waiting To Kill" 3 stars

the intro lines present reverbed time clock nervousness... The lead brings on a sense of inevitability... "Waiting To Kill" is a sequence filler kind of song that's very effective.
Spaghetti Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Sabata" 4 stars

"Sabata" is an adventurous open road kind of song with "Mexican" murmurs and a semi cowboy splashiness. It moves unimpeded down a coastal highway. Even the chorus is cool. A fine track!
Spaghetti Surf Instrumental Stereo
"The Big Gundown" 4 stars

Trotting bass lines under twin guitar lines accented with stinging plucks... very cool number. It rings has mega Southwest feel, and invokes images of galloping riders in long coats and wide brim hats. Bitchin'.
Spaghetti Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Siboney" 5 stars

Next to Johnny Fortune, this is easily the coolest version of Ernesto Lacuona's classic song. It's very rich rhythmically, and very fluid. Great drums and an absolutely liquid flow. A billion stars here!
Spaghetti Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Unmarked Grave Revisited" 3 stars

"Unmarked Grave Revisited" is another short interlude sequence just like in the movies. Cool!
Spaghetti Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Runnin' Wild" 5 stars

Rhythmically very interesting, echoed and reverbed, and way fun. "Runnin' Wild" bounces and romps under a splashy western melody with an attractive arrangement. Totally cool!
Spaghetti Surf Instrumental Stereo
"A taste Of Death" 3 stars

Rich twang rings out a short interlude blast.
Spaghetti Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Have A Nice Funeral My Friend" 5 stars

There simply is no better spaghetti western recording than this. The melody is perfect genre picturesque, the guitar tone is splendidly pasta drenched, and the rhythm section delivers a remarkably effective cowboys with cigars rolling beat. Even the use of distortion seems right in place. This is as infectious as they come.
Spaghetti Surf Instrumental Stereo
"The Gunman Left Standing" 4 stars

This fine track first appeared on the B-side of their amazing lone single. This is mid tempo, fluid, military, and quite compelling. One day a whole CD will appear from this excellent Volcanos alter ego.
Spaghetti Surf Instrumental Stereo
"The Hellbenders" 5 stars

Easily the best spaghetti western band on earth, Michigan's Hellbenders ply their trade to Ennio Morricone's song from which their name came. More than just cool, "The Hellbenders" is well developed and very dramatic. The lag of the second guitar in the guitar duo section is very unusual. It's a trick normally applied by piano players.
Spaghetti Surf Instrumental Stereo

--Phil Dirt (

The Hellbenders are a band who like Westerns. Subtle hints give this away :

1) The way they are dressed in ponchos, and holding toy guns in their picture.
2) The fact that there 3 Ennio Morricone covers on this album
3) The fact that they find it difficult to write a song of their own without mentioning "Boot Hill", "Gallows" or "Winchesters", or even, in one case "O.K. Corral".

Luckily, these trailblazers of this "nu-cowboy" (as everyone will soon be calling it) have made a great album. From the title track and it's despair that "even though the gallows wait for us at our trails end, tonight we kill, tomorrow, we die..." to the obligatory Johnny Cash cover, and the faux-western instrumental music (e.g. "Desert Standoff").

I challenge anyone to listen to it all the way through and not start using terms like "partner" or "gringo" or feel the need to watch movies involving Sergio Leone. The only criticism being that 21 tracks of broadly similar material means you're unlikely to want to listen to it all the way through in one sitting - but then that gives you more time to practise your quick draw in the mirror...

On Double Crown Records, where it is available for a fistful of dollars. --BBC Radio Website Review

Hellbenders Look West For Inspiration

If Sergio Leone were alive and making spaghetti westerns today, the Hellbenders would provide the score. The group's full-length debut is an intriguing and enjoyable movie and Americana music homage that skillfully blends covers and original material.

On "Today We Kill . . .," Rick Mills (guitar and vocals) assumes the old-west persona of Arch Stanton, Chris Flanagan (guitar) becomes Leo Marsh, Bill Bowen (drums) is Lonesome Billy, and Bill Rowe (bass) is Tombstone Bill. All are Detroit music veterans, with Mills, Flanagan and Bowen also playing in the 3-D Invisibles and the Volcanos.
On this mostly instrumental recording a few tracks were indeed written by Leone collaborator Ennio Morricone, but they are lesser-known works. About half are Mills originals, with some notable cover songs penned by Johnny Cash ("Big River") and Sheb Wooley ("Run, Billy, Run").

With menacing guitars and militaristic snare drum riffs the order of the day, the Hellbenders pay sweet tribute to standoffs, unmarked graves, gunfights at the O.K. Corral and other images gleaned from history and classic movie westerns. --Martin Bandyke, Detroit Free Press special writer

'Today We Kill...Tomorrow We Die' has been played stations all over the world, including: KFJC - Phil Dirt, KDHX - The Wayback Machine, KFAI - Radio Rumpus Room, WUSB - Rock N' Roll Dance Party, KCR - A Day At The Beach, WOBC - 91.5 FM, Tsunami Soul Radio Show, WHFR 89.3 Detroit, CJSR - Liza's Pills



to write a review


If you like Spaghetti Westerns this one's for you
Today We Kill Tomorrow We Die is probably one of the most unique cd's I have seen in a while. It's a theme cd based on western legend elements, The O.K. Corral, Riding into the Sunset, Blazing guns and the Cowboy Ballad. If Watching The Good, The Bad and The Ugly for the ten thousandth time doesn't satisfy you pop this cd in and get ready for the ride of your life. A little more variation in the song lyrics would be welcomed but other than that it's the best.


Clint Eastwood would be proud of this cd.
Every track on this cd can be used in any OLD western movie
spaghetti or otherwise. It's that good. Rank & File would be jealous.

Carl M. Nielsen

The Soundtrack for a non-eksisting movie
Many rockbands of the most different kinds, have been insspired by the music of Moricone's soundtracks to such Clint Eastwood westerns as "A Fistfull Of Dollars" and "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly". Well, this is not like all those. It is spaghetti western brought in to a pure style, making the soundtrack to a picture for you to create in your own head, with some of the tracks being atmosphearic soundscapes running less than a minute.Yet not ecsactly like Moricone. Some of the other tracks got lyrics, and shows inspiration from rockabilly, surf and cowpunk. For instance including Johnny Cash's "Big River". Still you're not losing the idea of some movie. This could have been a soundtrack. The album has the same kind of specific mood as good soundtracks. Beside Moricone think of Ry Cooders film-music such as "Paris Texas".Or the co-work of John Lee Hooker and Miles Davis to "The Hot Spot". Actually Miles Davis also made some fantastic music for an old french film back in the 50's. The best soundtracks are so atmosphearic and mood creating, that it give you an idea of the picture and what it is about without seeing it. "Today We Kill..Tomorrow We Die" got the same qualities. Just close your eyes and you will see Clint Eastwood riding and shooting. Or simply enjoy the music - it is great stuff!

j. michael crusemark

what can I say?
Not enough can be said! Not since Todd (my bass player) introduced me to the Ghastley Ones have I been so stoked!
It puts me right where I need to be on those balmy, stoney nights with the spring breeze. Oooooooooooohhh, Baby!
I'm a fan!!
(Yeah! That AND a cool late night 50's sci-fi flick)

Alex Hoffman

Spaghetti Western Surf Music at its Best
The Hellbender's Today We Kill...Tomorrow We Die sets the standard for Spaghetti Western Surf Music. No other surf album replicates the spaghetti western twang and feel made famous by Ennio Morricone like this. The quality of the music is top notch. Great tracks include the opener Today We Kill...Tomorrow We Die, Sabata, and a perfect cover of Siboney. This is album is a must for anyone who loves Spaghetti Westerns.


Spaghetti instros with mega twang...............
Instrumentally this is a must for your collection. It's spaghetti western music, done no better. Lots of twang! However, 50% of the cd does have vocals. I'm an instro fan, so the vocals are not the strong point for me. Even though, they aren't bad. It's just not for me. The instrumental part behind the vocals, is again superb. If this was a totally instro cd, it'd get 5 stars. I gave it 4 because of the vocals. Had the instrumental parts not been so fantastic, I may have rated it lower. I would still recommend it for an instro fan, but beware of the vocals.


A twangin' good time!
The instrumental parts of this CD are excellent! The vocals are not a strong point here but they're okay. The instros earned the fifth star! If you listen to this CD enough you may start walking with you're legs farther apart. Remember, don't squat with your spurs on!!