Five Favourites: The Coathangers

We’ve been massive fans of Atlanta trio The Coathangers for a while now, finding comfort in their cathartic fusion of uplifting melodies and gritty, angst-driven energy. And, with the release of their latest album The Devil You Know, they stand out as one of the most relevant and powerful bands around.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a new band/artist is by asking them what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Stephanie from The Coathangers to ask about their ‘Five Favourites’ – five albums that have influenced their songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you watch the band’s new video  for ‘Stranger Danger’ at the end of this post.

Refused – Shape of Punk to Come
When I first heard this album I immediately wanted to change the world whilst smashing everything in my way. Not only was it politically transformative, but it still had that punk ethos of community and respect for humanity in general. We had the amazing opportunity to be able to tour with Refused a few years back and it was probably the best time of my life. Their incredible energy and power live is the same as what you hear on the album… Something we’ve always tried to mimic.

Cyndi Lauper – True Colors
I know it might sound cheesy but this was one of my first tapes and I think every song on this album is just as stellar as when I first heard it a billion years ago. Cyndi’s voice is always something I’ve admired because it’s so “unusual”, and I think me and the girls have each found our unique voice as well throughout the years, which I believe is important for any performer.

White Stripes – White Blood Cells
This is just one of the albums that me and the girls adore by the dynamic duo. We always wished we could have toured with them because we loved what they did with just the two of themselves! Very inspiring lyrics as well as instrumentation again, with only two people. Just goes to show that you can do anything with not a shit ton of band members or instruments. Also, I always loved Meg’s drumming – although not that intricate, it always made sense for the songs. I’ve tried to use the same ethos with Coathangers songs, sometimes less is more.

Buzzcocks – Singles Going Steady
So I know it’s a comp of singles but who cares?! This album is obviously awesome. I was listening to this record on repeat for two years straight when I lived in LA. At the time, our friends Derek and Jordee were getting me hooked on ’70s power-pop, and this was one of the records that made me want to be in a band.

Janis Joplin – Greatest Hits
Ok ok, I knooooow it’s a greatest hits comp, but again who cares…?! This was another one of my first records a million years ago, and obviously I fell in love with not just Janis’ voice, but with the power her sadness held in each one of these songs. Music itself is such a magnetic, crazy force of nature, and this album just amplified that in my life. I feel that with every album we do, we try to be as authentic and powerful with our songs as well.

Massive thanks to Stephanie for discussing her ‘Five Favourites’ with us! Watch The Coathangers’ new video for ‘Stranger Danger’ here:

The Devil You Know, the new album from The Coathangers, is out now via Suicide Squeeze. Catch The Coathangers live in the UK at the following dates:

24th April – The Latest Music Bar, Brighton (with support from GIHE faves ARXX!)
25th April –
Studio 9294, London
27th April –
The Cookie, Leicester
28th April –
SWG Poetry Club, Glasgow
29th April –
Soup Kitchen, Manchester
30th April –
Arts Club (Loft), Liverpool
1st May – The Key Club, Leeds

Track Of The Day: Blóm – ‘Toxic Dependency’

Comprised of former members of Tough Tits and Yume Hayashi, Newcastle Upon Tyne’s Blóm fuse together genres to create their unique DIY Queer Feminist anthems. And, having recently released a split EP with Leeds band Thank, they’ve shared an emotionally charged, rip-roaring track from the EP with us.

A raging cacophony reflecting on toxic relationships, ‘Toxic Dependency’ blasts out a furious, seething energy and angst-driven power, as the genuine fiery passion of the band bursts out of every screamed note. Of the track, the band explain:

Part of the lyrics are about toxic relationships and being co dependent on people who are damaging. When you are trapped in these relationships you feel like you are submerged and it is hard to find people to support you to leave…  Other lyrics are pulled straight from passing comments toxic people have said to me, and regularly say to people presenting as female. The tone and delivery of these comments can shift the sincerity, knock your confidence and breed insecurities.”

 

Listen to Blóm’s split EP with Thank on Bandcamp now. And catch them live supporting Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs on the following dates:

5th April – The Haunt, Brighton
6th April – Esquires, Bedford

Mari Lane
@marimindles

LIVE: ESG @ Jazz Cafe, Camden, 01.03.19

It may be ESG’s last UK tour, but the iconic DIY act are going out with a bang…

ESG are possibly the most famous band you’ve never heard of. They’ve been sampled by a list of artists too long to name – including TLC and Miles Davis – and yet they’ve stayed resolutely under the mainstream radar, instead inspiring a generation of female DIY musicians to play by their own rules.

And now, the all-female band, who started making music in the South Bronx in the early ’70s, are on their last ever UK tour. UK fans might remember that this was also what they said of their 2015 tour, so maybe don’t lose hope yet… For the penultimate show, they played Camden’s Jazz Café, with support from Leeds-based funk band Galaxians.

Maybe this really is the last tour, but it doesn’t feel like a sad farewell. The band’s inimitable, sparse mash-up of funk, punk and dance can be unnerving when you’re listening through headphones, but played live, it’s a definite party. Even ‘U.F.O’, whose surreal riff has been sampled by Nine Inch Nails amongst others, is given an upbeat makeover. It can be hard to get a room full of stoic London hipsters dancing, but ESG pull it off easily.

ESG have always been hard to pin down – they’ve been described as everything from proto-hip-hop, to post-punk, to dance – but you get the sense tonight that at the heart of their joyful style is a disregard for categorisation. They’re not interested in being a band who are easy to write about, they’re interested in getting you dancing (whilst perhaps unsettling you slightly at the same time).

The band never found mainstream success – not least because their record label, 99 Records, went bankrupt in the mid-eighties. Since then, they’ve been resolutely DIY. It’s perhaps slightly galling, then, that the artists who sample them, with or without clearance, have often gone on to find greater fame and fortune (though generally lesser critical acclaim). There’s an extra level of irritation in finding that tracks using ESG samples aren’t always ones they’d like to be associated with – as front woman Renee commented in an interview back in 2002, these have included “Really negative, woman-beating type of songs. I’ve been in situations with domestic violence, so I don’t appreciate any song glorifying domestic violence using my music. Go get your own damn music!

They might not be headlining Glastonbury, but they’ve done something arguably greater: they’ve paved the way for female DIY musicians who won’t colour inside the lines. Unconstrained by genre or the pressures of major label involvement, they’re free to enjoy the party.

Frances Salter
@goodcanarymusic

WATCH: POZI – ‘Watching You Suffer’

If I could describe ‘Watching You Suffer’ from London trio Pozi in one word, it would definitely be quirky… With a raw punk energy and attitude, the track resonates a strong sense of emergency and alarm, coupled with a dystopian DIY music video that surely helps the case.

The main female character is alone in the midst of a sterile world inhabited by human-like, faceless creatures dressed in red, the colour of danger. The raw vocals are reminiscent of The B-52s and the lack of guitars is a definite innovative plus – with the violin and its mid-track solo being a key highlight of the song. The growling, constant bass-line continues to evoke the sense of urgency, and is almost lifelike, emulating  the music video’s main character’s sense of loneliness and of being misunderstood.

Pozi’s violin driven punk surely makes the trio a stand-out act that you should definitely keep your eyes and ears on!

Watch the new video for ‘Watching You Suffer’ here:

PZ1, the upcoming album from POZI, is out 5th April via Prah Recordings.

Janelle Borg

Get In Her Ears w/ Bleak Terrain 21.02.19

Tash & Kate were back in the Hoxton Radio studio playing the freshest in new music from the likes of Maeve, Friedberg, Adryelle and Adia Victoria.

They were joined by the lovely Bleak Terrain in the studio, talking all things interpretive dance and about their upcoming 2019 tour.

Tune in next week when we’ll be back in the studio for a LGBT History Month special!

Listen back here:

@getinherears
@maudeandtrevor
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Le Butcherettes – ‘bi/MENTAL’

A vivid exploration of maternal relationships, enduring grief, and coping with the many faceted mental health issues encountered along the way; Le Butcherettes‘ new album bi/MENTAL is a potent infusion of almighty vocals, hefty guitar riffs, and commanding percussion. Released via Rise Records, the band’s fourth album was produced by Talking Heads member Jerry Harrison (No Doubt, Violent Femmes, KD Lang) and recorded at his home studio in Northern California.

Cited as their most personal album to date, bi/MENTAL is an ode to frontwoman Teri Gender Bender’s mother. She states that with the aid of producer Jerry, she was able to be “vulnerable and in-your-face at the same time” and that freedom permeates bi/MENTAL. Opener ‘spider/WAVES’ is six minutes of off-kilter unhinged sound, dominated by Teri’s trademark falsetto vocals and accompanied by spoken word from Dead Kennedys’ front man, Jello Biafra. It leads in to the knockout ‘give/UP’ lamenting the struggles surrounding grief. The opening line paints a morbid picture – “I’ve been putting off for days / a visitation to your grave” – but Teri’s passionate delivery and the infectious, rolling rhythms make this track a real blood-pumping tune that’s hard to sit still to.

‘strong/ENOUGH’ is an anthem of defiance and acceptance – “I’m not the kind of girl you thought I was” – whilst ‘father/ELOHIM’ explores a narrative of reckless behaviour and freedom. ‘little/MOUSE’ follows, before the scratchy nostalgic opening of ‘in/THE END’ breaks through, developing in to a retrospective ballad about faithlessness. A seething, buzzing bass line dominates ‘nothing/BUT TROUBLE’, whilst the sultry vocals of Chilean vocalist Mon Laferte take centre stage on ‘la/SANDÍA’.

Gritty guitar and psych-tinged keys meet on ‘struggle/STRUGGLE’ where pain and grief culminate in a speaking-in-tongues outro from Teri. ‘dressed/IN A MATTER OF SPEECH’ follows, before the unsettling screams and screeches of ‘mothers/HOLDS’ conquer the next three minutes of the record. Featuring the vocals of Alice Bag, ‘mothers/HOLDS’ is an example of the dark magic that’s conjured when two assertive, defiant women come together to create art.

The heady, mesmeric sounds on the penultimate ‘sand/MAN’ are followed by closing track ‘/BREATH’. It has a gentle opening, with slow guitar and a child-like voice sample interrupting intermittently like an old memory, but that’s swiftly discarded around the two minute mark. The track kicks back in in true raucous Le Butcherettes fashion, closing the record on a willful, assertive note.

Inspired by the “the death of a living mother”, the duality of life, and the inevitable strife caused by the fluctuation of mental health; Le Butcherettes bi/MENTAL is a cathartic burst of emotional rock music designed to clear the cobwebs between your ears.

Listen to bi/MENTAL on Spotify here.
Follow Le Butcherettes on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut