music reviews: the coathangers | nosebleed weekend

by kris smith

A fifth album from The Coathangers and I’m not bored yet. I won’t do that journo thing of pretending I know everything about the band, or remember exactly what all their previous albums sounded like, but I’ve bought the last three, I saw them when they last came over and played, they’re basically a Good Thing and probably the best US band making this kind of noise right now. About five/six years ago there was a whole swathe of west-coast noise-pop groups who were, y’know, ok, but whose every song sounded more-or-less the same, so you risked burnout over the course of one album, let alone five.

As with Screaming Females (but without the gratuitous guitar shredding), that’s not a problem for The Coathangers. They share vocals, for a start, and they play a variety of moods. “Perfume” is perfect garage-pop sounding like a poppier Kleenex, while “Squeeki Tiki” is a bouncy DFA1979ish number and “Burn Me” could be a sped-up Delta 5. “Hiya” seems vaguely reminiscent of Ramones/Donnas without really sounding like either, “Make It Right” does the same for L7, and “Excuse Me?” is vaguely Cure-esque.

So we’re not reinventing the wheel here but, with tunes this agreeable, who cares? There’s not a bad track on “Nosebleed Weekend”, albeit the title song is slightly underwhelming and, as with Kitten Forever, these songs retain that riot grrrl simplicity and DIY edge without losing the plot or resorting to rocking out. Final track “Copycat” exemplifies the band’s endearing and enduring appeal; another change of pace with breathy Lana Del Rey vocals and intriguing lyrics: “Please don’t look at me, it makes my stomach ache”.

If none of the above appeals to you, well you could be reading the wrong zine! 5/5 and just get the album.

The Coathangers: Nosebleed Weekend
(Suicide Squeeze Records, Apr 2016)

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