The Coathangers Perfect Their Mix Of Gleeful Silliness And Garage Grunge
Five albums into a career that began as a joke in 2006, the Coathangers are one of those bands you’re forgiven for categorizing and marginalizing—that is, if you’d considered them at all. Fellow travelers of Atlanta garage-rock compadres the Black Lips, they were mostly sloppier, slighter, and sillier, with songs about boobs and Tonya Harding. But that only makes the new Nosebleed Weekend even more of a welcome surprise.
Recorded old-school analog at Hollywood’s Valentine Studios—bassist-vocalist Minnie Coathanger, guitarist-vocalist Crook Kid Coathanger, and drummer-vocalist Rusty Coathanger were among the first to work there since the heyday of the Beach Boys—this new set of 13 primo ditties eliminates most of the old shtick while adding a heaping dose of timeless melodicism. (In addition to Brian and the boys, see also early Beatles and the Kinks.)
To be sure, the old garage grunge and propulsion are still here, they’re and as ferocious as ever; and there’s no masking the chaotic anger of, say, “Excuse Me?” And there’s still plenty of goofiness, too: “Squeeki Tiki” seems to be an ode to a bathtub toy, complete with rubber-ducky squeaks. But from the opening “Perfume” through the closing “Copycat,” the focused attention on songcraft and hooks pays off with a beginning-to-end joyride.
The Coathangers, Nosebleed Weekend (Suicide Squeezze)
Rating on the 4-star scale: 3.5 stars.