Seasoned indie punk band The Coathangers return with a fresh new batch of rockers.
Whether or not you’re well accustomed to the band’s style – you know, the in-your-face hard rock aspect, the distorted, pummelling instruments – you’ll still find it easy enough to slip into ‘Nosebleed Weekend’. On a whole, it has most of the core elements that made up the band’s previous release ‘Suck My Shirt’, but with a frequently fuller sound, with guitar, bass and drums coming together as one.
There is nothing super unusual about ‘Nosebleed Weekend’, there are momentous punk rock moments, eerie, slower moments, and it’s all mostly achieved with an affective hard rock pulse; the usual tempos, the usual emphasis on chord progressions, the usual angst-filled vocals. The first two tracks demonstrate this very well; ‘Perfume’ and ‘Dumb Baby’ are both stark raving mad, with some energy and the effectiveness of the vocal delivery is far greater than reasonable. Seriously, if you use the word “reasonable” to describe the singing on this thing, you’re underwhelming everybody.
Things take a weird turn with ‘Squeeki Tiki’. Some form of rubber duck or squeaky toy, possibly belonging to an animal of the canine variety, is constantly used in the hook sections of the song. It’s easy to see how the obnoxiousness of this might actually be intentional; this is a punk record after all.
Some of the subsequent tracks seem to be there for the sake of being there, but they have enough raw energy to make for a convincing listen. But hey, The Coathangers aren’t looking to convince anyone, they’re not doing this to impress you. The album’s title track has a pretty notable chorus, and is perhaps the standout moment of the entire record. It has enough toughness and focus to keep you hooked, and in general, it’s the best representation of how great a rock band The Coathangers can be.
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There is no overwhelming freshness, and there are times where this is seemingly very intentional. If ‘Burn Me’ wasn’t supposed to sound like ‘A-Punk’ by Vampire Weekend, then that’s just silly. Also, ‘Dumb Baby’ almost sounds like it’s about to be a weird, condensed cover of ‘My Generation’ by The Who; but then the first two seconds are over and the reviewer’s judgment is reserved.
There is just about enough to talk about with ‘Nosebleed Weekend’, it’s not as impactful as the overall sound of the album seems like it’s trying to be, but it’s still impactful enough. There is enough meaning and depth to make this album compelling. As for the energy, in 1984, a wise man said “Let’s go crazy”, and The Coathangers certainly do so here.
‘Nosebleed Weekend’ is out now via Suicide Squeeze records
This Coathangers article was written by Ben Malkin, a GIGsoup contributor