Freight Train Rabbit Killer


Freight Train Rabbit Killer
Freight Train Rabbit Killer

Freight Train Rabbit Killer is a duo made up of Kris Bruders (Freight Train) and Mark Smeltzer (Rabbit Killer). A heavy doom blues American Roots opera about a shaman of the hills and a vigilante bent on justice, they have been performing out of their hometown of Kansas City, Missouri and toured extensively internationally and across the United States. Freight Train Rabbit Killer is storytelling through music, American folk art via gritty blues, screaming electric guitars, suits, and masks. Featured performances at roots rock and blues festivals such as Muddy Roots, Raut Oak, and Clarksdale Mississippi’s Deep Blues Fest have secured a legion of dedicated followers. 2022 sees the release of their first full-length album Hammer of Judgment on Haymaker Records.




  • Haymaker Records Celebrates 10 Years

    Kansas City-based record label Haymaker Records marks the anniversary of ten years of existence with a special concert at recordBar on Saturday, May 4 2024. Performing on the stage are three artists who have seen multiple releases on the label over its ten years. Mathy jazz-rock group Jorge Arana Trio, space rock supergroup Be/Non, and doom blues duo Freight Train Rabbit Killer are the featured performers on the night.

    Haymaker Records was formed in January 2014. The label chose to focus on boundary-pushing artists and provide a home and promotional arm for music that might not find a home on traditional pop radio. Jorge Arana Trio became the first band the label worked with and by July 2014, a cassette and LP for the Oso EP had been released. Since that first release, the label has released a total of 24 recordings from 10 different artists including Be/Non, Freight Train Rabbit Killer, Schwervon!, Monta, HMPH!, and Sie Lieben Maschinen. 14 releases have made their way onto vinyl. Also included are two compilations featuring artists from the Kansas City area as well as national and international acts from Arkansas to Norway.

    The concert at recordBar has doors opening at 7PM on May 4th with an entry of $15. Event information can be reviewed here. The Facebook event is available here. Haymaker Records will be located in the merchandise area with a collection of vinyl, cassettes, and other merchandise available for purchase from the ten-year history of the record label.

    Haymaker Records 10-Year Anniversary Show
    Haymaker Records 10-Year Anniversary Show

  • Freight Train Rabbit Killer Celebrate 10 Years with Concerts & New Album

    Haymaker Records will help celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the doom blues group Freight Train Rabbit Killer with a series of concerts and the release of a new full-length album.

    Freight Train Rabbit Killer is a duo made up of Kris Bruders (Freight Train) and Mark Smeltzer (Rabbit Killer). Described as a heavy doom blues American Roots opera, they have been performing for a period of ten years since the group formed around Halloween 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri. Since then, they have been able to play shows and festivals in more than twenty U.S. states, two tours of Europe, a residency with the Kansas City Art Institute, two fashion shows featuring their own hand-created clothing designs, the release of a comic book, and the completion of three full-length albums and four 7-Inch singles.

    Freight Train Rabbit Killer - Common Thorns
    Freight Train Rabbit Killer – Common Thorns

    In celebration of the groups 10-year anniversary, Freight Train Rabbit Killer will be performing a set of three concerts over seven days in Kansas City. The first performance will be at Boulevard Brewing Beer Hall (2534 Madison Ave. KCMO) on Tuesday October 24 from 6-8PM. This is a free event and will feature a 10-year art retrospective with artist Hector Casanova and student works from the Kansas City Art Institute. The appearance by the duo will include an interview and performance broadcasted live over the KTBG 90.9FM airwaves. The second event happens at Stockyards Brewing Co. (1600 Genessee St. #100 KCMO) on Saturday October 28 from 7-10PM. The free event will feature a multimedia performance with video projections and props. The final event will be Halloween night Tuesday October 31 from 7-11PM at The Ship (1221 Union Ave. KCMO). The $10 cover will include a special Halloween blacklight performance featuring Freight Train Rabbit Killer, The Peculiar Pretzelmen, and The Black Mariah Theater and a blacklight costume contest with prizes for the top three costumes.

    Freight Train Rabbit Killer - Mule to Plow
    Freight Train Rabbit Killer – Mule to Plow

     The new album The Ten Year will be pressed to vinyl and released on digital media platforms in early 2024 through Kansas City’s Haymaker Records. The LP contains one side of four new songs and a second side of the 22-minute drone / ambient piece “A Forest of Whispers”. The songs “Commons Thorns” and “Mule to Plow”, will see an advance digital release on all digital media platforms on October 20 in celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the band. Pre-orders for the new album will be available at all three shows. Check back with Haymaker Records website for future information about pre-ordering the new album.

  • Freight Train Rabbit Killer – “The Scarlet Social” August 12 The Warwick Theater

    Freight Train Rabbit Killer has an upcoming event on August 12 at The Warwick Theater in Kansas City, Missouri. The Scarlet Social, a fashion show is presented in a three-act story: “Blood Garments: A De-evolution of Industrial Work Clothes”, Atmosphere by local Mr. Marco’s V7, an atmospheric finale by Freight Train Rabbit Killer. 15+ Rabbit Killer Blood Garments (painted industrial bibs and aprons) will be modeled by Kansas City locals. Each family of garments will be paired with their rhythms, an animation of the garment’s life. All fashion with animation in the exhibit will be up for auction after the reveal. The event will be live-streamed on YouTube. The Scarlet Social is also a social event with each intermission providing time to socialize.

    This is an all-ages event. General Admission – $20.00/$25.00 day of show. Students’ day of the show with valid school id – $5.00. Kids – Free
    Ticket link:

  • Pre-Order new Freight Train Rabbit Killer Album “Hammer of Judgment”

    Good news. The new Freight Train Rabbit Killer album “Hammer of Judgment” is now available for pre-order. It is available in limited edition opaque blue vinyl net.

  • Freight Train Rabbit Killer Release New Album “Hammer of Judgment”

    Freight Train Rabbit Killer "Hammer of Judgment" 1600
    Freight Train Rabbit Killer “Hammer of Judgment” 1600

    Haymaker Records is pleased to announce that the new Freight Train Rabbit Killer album “Hammer of Judgment” is finally pressed and just about ready for its 2022 release. The album was recorded during the Hammer of Judgment Recording Sessions back in April 2019. Yes, it took 3 years for this album to be released. There were hurdles along the way, from pressing plant delays to global pandemics – but here we are and it’s totally worth the wait. The Hammer of Judgment recording session was a one-of-a-kind pseudo-live studio album, utilizing an interactive crowd of dedicated fans experiencing the recording process first-hand with all of the bells and whistles of a professional recording studio (isolated tracking, overdubs, post-production mixing, etc.). Thanks to GFM Modern Recording in Blue Springs, Missouri for the studio access and engineering work and Andrew Crowley of Organica Recording for the engineering, mixing, and mastering. The album will be released on black vinyl as well as a limited run of 200 copies on blue vinyl .

    For those fans that are in Kansas City during late April, we will be hosting a very special release show on Saturday, April 30 at a private event space called The Fifth Floor (1106 Santa Fe Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64101). Advanced tickets can be purchased through the Eventbrite event. Advance copies of the album will be available for purchase at that time and the fantastic groups Drop a Grand and Teri Quinn will also be playing that night.

    For everyone else, please stay tuned! We have a later date for a national release and hope to have pre-order information available on this website before long. The band hopes to tour for this album with full four-person band and has a comprehensive concert promotion package in tow. Anybody interested in booking a performance, please contact the band through

    Addendum 05/17/22: The album is available for pre-order from this link…

  • 2020 is Here!

    Hay everyone. Welcome to 2020. Quick update here. We’re readying the final details and arranging for the pressing of the new Freight Train Rabbit Killer Hammer of Judgment LP.
    It sounds amazing and we can’t wait to share it with you. It’s looking like it will be closer to late March or April for a release date. Those that were part of the recording session for it and ordered advanced copies, you will be the first to receive your copies when they come in. Freight Train Rabbit Killer will be touring extensively in 2020 and we’re all looking forward to the continued spreading of the Freight Train gospel. Look for them in your city. A lot of festival dates are in the works.

    HMPH‘s new album HMPH! is available for purchase now. Math Rock Times recently added it to their list of Best Math Rock Albums of 2019.

    Stay tuned. 2020 has a lot more in store with Haymaker Records…

  • Freight Train Rabbit Killer “Hammer of Judgment” Recording Session Tickets

    Freight Train Rabbit Killer want YOU to be a part of the next album!! Enjoy a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the recording of a full length album. Hammer of Judgment will be released in vinyl LP and other formats on Haymaker Records in October 2019. This album will be created from the music captured at four different live recording sessions with the best tracks pressed to vinyl.

    There are four different recording session dates that will happen at the new downtown Blue Springs recording studio GFM Modern Recording (1118 W. Main St. Blue Springs, Missouri) the fourth weekend of April . This will be an intimate performance with tickets for each show capped at 25 seats and available through this website. Each night’s music will be different with three of the performances featuring the backing band The Hammer of Judgment.

    Check out the online shop items below for advance pre-sale ticket options and the four different bundles (featuring limited items and pre-orders unique to this special set of performances).

  • Outer Reaches 2018

    The music festival Outer Reaches, in its seventh year, emphasizes musical acts experimenting and pushing boundaries. The fest aims to showcase the ‘out there,’ left-of-center, under-the-radar musical acts performing captivating live music. The shows are 18+ and feature acts from a variety of musical genres with accompanying video projection.

    Friday, October 26 will also function as the release date for Volume 4 of Freight Train Rabbit Killer‘s “Wake Snake Death Dance” 7-Inch series. This is the final piece of the puzzle for solving the treasure hunt. The 7-Inch record will be available first at the band’s performance at Outer Reaches 2018 with only 100 copies available in blood red.

    Friday, October 26
    Freight Train Rabbit Killer
    Heaven’s Gateway Drugs (Fort Wayne, IN)
    Mysterious Clouds
    Abandoned Bells
    Lesser Pleasures (Lawrence, KS)
    JC & the Nuns (Lawrence, KS)
    The Guillotine Choir
    New Obsessions
    Lava Dreams

    Saturday, October 27
    Cave (Chicago, IL)
    Sound of Ceres (Brooklyn, NY)
    J Fernandez (Chicago, IL)
    Death Bells (Sydney, Australia)
    Jorge Arana Trio
    Black Givre (Montréal, Québec)
    Kee Avil (Montréal, Québec)

    Friday Tickets: $15 (Day of Show), $12 (Advance)
    Saturday Tickets: $20 (Day of Show), $15 (Advance)
    Two-Day Ticket: $25 (Advance)

    Advance tickets available at recordBar venue and website

    Be sure to check out Outer Reaches FEST Night 2 at recordBar on Saturday, October 27th.

    Outer Reaches 2018 is made possible from the help of Midwest Music Foundation and a grant through the Kansas City Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund. Outer Reaches is happy to be an official Expanded Field Partner of Open Spaces KC, a contemporary art experience with visual creations and performances by local, national and international artists transforming the city for 9 weeks.

    Facebook Events:
    Friday –
    Saturday –

    More info:

  • July 2018 News

    Hay there. Here are a few updates on happenings for the month of July…


    Freight Train Rabbit Killer‘s “Wake Snake Death Dance” Vol. 3 is available for pre-order on 7-Inch vinyl from Haymaker Records in black vinyl and limited edition blood red vinyl. The sleeves are hand screen-printed by the band themselves. Orders will ship around the end of July. You can also pre-order the entire four volume 7-Inch bundle of “Wake Snake Death Dance”.

  • Freight Train Rabbit Killer 7-Inch Record Series Vol. #2 Update

    We have an update on the 2nd Volume of the Wake Snake Death Dance 7-Inch Series Volume #2. The official release date is Friday, April 13th with a release party at recordBar in Kansas City, Missouri. Pre-orders will be mailed out Saturday, April 7th. The two new tracks are “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good + Evil” and “Pesky Serpent”. Both songs were written by Ike Sheldon of The Wilders with arrangements by Mark Smeltzer.

    Note: As of February 2018, all of the blood red vinyl copies of Vol. 1 are sold out, but we still have some copies of the black vinyl available. The bundle package from this point on will contain the black vinyl issues of Vol. 1 (not red) and the bundle price has been reduced slightly as a result. Congratulations to everyone that snagged a limited edition copy of the blood red, these things have been selling quickly.

    Pre-order “Wake Snake Death Dance” Vol. #2 now or pre-order the entire four volumes of the “Wake Snake Death Dance” 7-Inch Series Bundle.


Freight Train Rabbit Killer – Concert Dates