In their early years, Atlanta trio The Coathangers were very much of the classic punk ethos-the band was a live entity, and the records were a document of the charisma and chaos projected from stage. But after 12 years of relentlessly touring on a steady flow of EPs and LPs, The Coathangers finally took a moment to recalibrate before diving into the creation of their sixth studio album The Devil You Know . The band regrouped to make an album that captures all the vitality of their early years while honing their individual strengths into new communal achievements. It's a record that takes their established takes on vitriolic punk, playful house-party anthems, and heartworn ballads and melds them into a new sound that retains all their former live show glories while revealing a new level of songwriting and nuance. "The writing process was done with an open heart," says guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel. "Everything that came before had to go away. And we started there, at ground zero." With each album, you could hear the individual songwriters honing their style. But with The Devil You Know , it feels like we’re hearing the first Coathangers record written as a true unit.
Parasite kicks off with the title track, a rowdy throwback to a younger, angrier incarnation of the band. Crafted in the wake of the election and during a tumultuous period in the band members' private lives, "Parasite" is pure catharsis. "During the making of our last album, I didn't want to scream anymore, I just wanted to sing and focus on melody. When we came to this recording, I just wanted to scream and curse," says guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel. If the EP is meant as a journey through the various stages of the band's career, it certainly storms out of the gate with the same kind of piss-and-vinegar of their eponymous debut. And while "Wipe Out" is another rowdy venture, with bassist Meredith Franco taking over the lead vocal duties over a steady barrage of pointed power-chords, it also showcases the rousing choruses that elevated the trio from underground heroines to an internationally renowned garage act. Despite the adverse times, The Coathangers' mastery of pop cannot be contained forever, as is evident in the EP's single "Captain’s Dead", with its sultry verses, triumphant chorus, and a bombastic freak-out of noisy guitar. The journey through The Coathangers' musical evolution leads to a revamped version of "Down Down" off 2016's Nosebleed Weekend LP and the smoky twang of "Drifter", in which drummer/vocalist Stephanie Luke demonstrates her knack for solid Dusty Springfield-style ballads.
Nosebleed Weekend kicks off with "Perfume", a song that marries sultry pop vocals with toothy guitar riffs in a manner that would make Ann and Nancy Wilson proud. It's hard to imagine The Coathangers writing a song this accessible in their early years, but in 2016 it fits perfectly into their canon. From there the band launches into "Dumb Baby", which harkens back to the gritty neo-garage rock of Murder City Devils. Longtime fans who still clamor for their brash post-punk angle will be immediately satiated by "Squeeki Tiki". And after hearing the noisy loud-quiet-loud bombast of "Excuse Me?" it's no wonder that Kim Gordon has become an outspoken fan of the band. It's an eclectic album inspired by life on the road, lost loved ones, and Kugel's recent move to Southern California. "We always say that each record is a snapshot of our life at the time," Kugel says. "As far as style... it's just what came out of us at that point." So whether it's the foreboding garage rock of the title track, the post-punk groove of "Burn Me", the stripped-down pop of "I Don't Think So", or the dynamic grunge of "Down Down", The Coathangers command their songs with passion and authority.
Suck My Shirt is the fourth full-length for The Coathangers. "It's a balance between overthinking and just going for it," guitarist Crook Kid (Julia Kugel) says of their songwriting strategy. It's a duality immediately apparent with the album opener "Follow Me." It’s a classic Coathangers tune with Stephanie Luke's raspy vocals belted out over their signature ragged garage-rock. But the chorus opens into one of the most accessible hooks in the band's canon, just before segueing into the next verse with a squall of violent dissonant guitar. From there the band launches into "Shut Up," a title that harkens back to the brash sass of their first record. The song still has its spikey guitar riffs and shouted chorus, but here The Coathangers sound less like a jubilant version of Huggy Bear and more like the art-pop of late-era Minutemen. Dedicated Coathangers fans will recognize the re-worked versions of "Merry Go Round," "Smother," "Adderall," and "Derek's Song" from their run of limited edition split 7"s, and hearing them in the context of the album shows that these tracks weren't merely isolated examples of the band's more sophisticated side, but were actually demonstrative of the group's increasing capacity for nestling solid melodic hooks and rock heft into their repertoire. By the time the band wraps up the album with the humble pop perfection of "Drive," it's hard to believe this was the band that garnered their reputation off of raucous bombasts like "Don't Touch My Shit."
The Coathangers are a relentless force. Not content to rest on their laurels with 2011’s sweaty summer classic Larceny & Old Lace, Atlanta’s roadwarrior daughters delivered a new split 7” every six months courtesy of Suicide Squeeze Records. Previous installments have paired their no-fucks-given badassery with Puerto Rican partiers Davila 666, Canadian bass-riff maestros Nu Sensae, and Nashville vintage-rockers Heavy Cream. The Coathangers’ final chapter in the series has them sharing a slab of vinyl with recent Suicide Squeeze signees Audacity. Hailing from Orange County, Audacity perfectly embody Southern California’s polarizing elements of sunshine and urban density. While not exactly “Good Vibrations” or “Welcome To The Jungle”, Audacity’s split-exclusive “Earthbot” shows both undeniable pop savvy and savage fretboard awareness. For their side, The Coathangers pay homage to driver’s-little-helper with “Adderall”. Showcasing the grittier side of their sound while still maintaining all of their token swagger, “Adderall” is a fitting cap on the split 7” series that carried through two years of relentless touring across North America and Europe. The Coathangers/Audacity split 7” is limited to 750 copies and is also available digitally worldwide on October 15, 2013.
Atlanta’s reigning garage rock daughters The Coathangers return with the third installment in their series of split 7”s on Suicide Squeeze. This time they’ve teamed up with labelmates NÃ¼ Sensae. Both new listeners and longtime fans of The Coathangers will be whipped into a frenzy with “Derek’s Song”, a party-banger perfectly encapsulating the quartet’s capacity for sharp hooks and jagged instrumentation. NÃ¼ Sensae contributes “Throw” to their side of the split. Rounding out their sound with the recent addition of guitarist Brody McKnight, NÃ¼ Sensae’s newest song is a ferocious and harrowing leap forward. Brody unleashes foreboding guitar squalls while bassist/vocalist Andrea Lukic rages like Kim Gordon at her most incendiary moments and Daniel Pitout beats his drums to a bloody pulp. The Coathangers’ side will make you wanna get off your ass and dance while the NÃ¼ Sensae side will make you wanna go torch a car. The split 7” is limited to 750 copies (250 on white vinyl, 500 on black) with a free download code and is also available digitally worldwide.
Fans of The Coathangers are already accustomed to the beer-soaked, dance-inducing jams whipped up by bassist Meredith, guitarist Julia, keyboardist Candice, and drummer Steph, but on “Merry Go Round” the quartet swap instruments and knock out their most solid and catchy number to date. With The Coathangers raising the bar with their newest song, Infinity Cat Recordings artists Heavy Cream countered by contributing “Toasted” to their side of the split. With it’s big and bold drumbeat, driving guitar chords, sing-along chorus, and blown out production, “Toasted” not only sounds like a fitting addition to JEFF the Brotherhood’s record label, it sounds like the long lost rock n’ roll gem that first incited Joan Jett and Johnny Ramone to pick up guitars back in the ‘70s.
Hot on the heels of their critically acclaimed 2011 album Larceny & Old Lace, the rowdy Southern garage rockers The Coathangers plan to release four limited edition split 7”s in 2012, further propelling their reputation for rambunctious rabble-rousing and a relentless work ethic. The first of the splits finds The Coathangers whipping out one of their bawdy bombasts alongside lo-fi party septet Davilla 666. The Puerto Rican group raised more than a few eyebrows recently, receiving accolades from heavyweight press outlets like Pitchfork and the LA Times, and more importantly, winning the approval of contemporary garage icons like The Black Lips and Jay Reatard. Both bands bring scratchy guitars, hip-shakin’ beats, and sing-along choruses into the fray, resulting in an essential platter of primal rock n’ roll. The split 7” is limited to 750 (250 gold, 500 black vinyl) copies worldwide.
The Coathangers reckless energy from their half-serious roots is every bit as vibrant and rambunctious on their latest album, Larceny & Old Lace. But this time around we’re hearing a band that’s honed their trade and incorporated more stylistic variations. With this broadened artistic horizon, refinement of technique, and Ed Rawls’ production allowing every instrument to shine without detracting from the band’s natural grit, The Coathangers’ latest offering is easily their best record to date. Join the party.
Limited to 750 hand numbered copies! Atlanta's ladies hand two of their beloved tracks (143 and Arthritis Sux from their Suicide Squeeze debut, "Scramble") to Dan Deacon and Judi Chicago for the specialist treatment... What emerges is pure, ringing joy; from JC's bounce-down dub to the pulsing 'closing-credits' anthem Deacon somehow Frankenstein's from the band's original tracks. Includes a coupon for a free digital download of the single in MP3 format.
"â€¦mix of riot-grrrl vitriol and eyelash-batting charm- the aural equivalent of getting mugged by a Girl Scout" - Nylon