ALBUM: The Coathangers – ‘The Devil You Know’

Let’s face it, the human mind is a complex thing. It can be difficult to have more than one thing going on, and half of the time you don’t even know what’s happening up there… Some things just can’t co-exist. Expelling this rule in a fantastically riotous half-hour are The Coathangers with their seventh album, The Devil You Know.

Pre-released single, ’Bimbo’, is the infectiously upbeat opener. Completely innocently, the track opens with a straight bassline, with quintessentially on beat, twinkling top notes of a keyboard. This is later ripped apart and kicked into overdrive with raucous thrashes of fuzzy guitar and a semi-sung chorus. The rest of the album follows suit with an angst-infused collective of fiery ditties, ‘5 Farms’ and ‘Crimson Telephone’.

Then I have an epiphany. This ain’t no ordinary album. This lot have an agenda. Political and social commentary bursts through the foundations of the album like a balloon on a cactus. This is most evident in the fourth and seventh tracks, ‘Hey Buddy’ and ‘F the NRA’. In ‘Hey Buddy’ a guttural and hoarse voice croaks through the song laced with simple yet powerful twangs of guitar, proving less is more as they growl “Hey buddy are you looking at me? You call me a faggot and you call me a sleaze”. ‘F The NRA’ does just what it says on the tin; a poignant, impassioned plea against gun violence, propelled by a gritty, punk-driven energy. 

The album winds to a close with quieter and melancholy, but nonetheless badass, tracks ‘Last Call’ and ‘Lithium’. Both include a gentle and heavily reverberated vocal resonating the sound of Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval. The guitars sound like they’re crying. And now I’m crying.

The Devil You Know takes you from wanting to go out, make some noise and paint the town red, to staying in bed and never getting up again. And we love every second of its racing thirty minutes. 

The Devil You Know is out now via Suicide Squeeze. Catch The Coathangers live on their upcoming tour:

24th April – The Latest Music Bar, Brighton
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

Megan Berridge
@noisygal_

 

WATCH: The Coathangers – ‘F The NRA’

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 today, with the release of their poignant new video for ‘F The NRA’, we see them speaking up for what they believe in, in an impassioned plea against gun violence. Referring to the US National Rifle Association which advocates for gun rights in the States, ‘F The NRA’ was written by guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel, who felt compelled to make a political statement in the face of potential backlash, in part because she is a refugee from Belarus, a country with limited freedom of speech and press.

Propelled by a gritty, punk-driven energy, ‘F The NRA’ is a painfully topical offering charged by the band’s seething passion, trademark raw growls and driving, frenzied hooks. Accompanied by a protest-fuelled video, featuring spine-tingling statistics, including the final heartbreaking fact that ‘Every Day 100 Americans Are Killed By Gun Violence’, The Coathangers deliver a furious and clear message with an anthemic, potent force.

Kugel has expanded on her motivations to speak out in an essay published today at The Talkhouse, with contributions and advice from Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill), Brendan Canty (Fugazi/The Messthetics) and Dennis Lyxzen (Refused, International Noise Conspiracy). From the essay:

 “I do not take the freedom of expression that all U.S. citizens are granted lightly. The band was confident that we wanted to put ‘F the NRA’ on the record. It provided a personal catharsis and a sense of empowerment in the wake of the immense feeling of helplessness that was weighing heavily on us as we coped with continuous reports of mass shootings. It was not until those around us started warning us of the repercussions we could face, did we realize the risk involved in yelling at the giant. My ingrained fear of speaking out came back to me. Yet the reason I am a musician is because of a need to express my truth, personal or political. I began to question everything: the rights of an artist, the responsibility of being political, the fear of backlash, and the desire to be heard.” (Read more here)

Watch the powerful new video for ‘F The NRA’ here:

The Devil You Know, the upcoming album from The Coathangers, is out 8th March via Suicide Squeeze.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: The Coathangers – ‘Bimbo’

Atlanta trio The Coathangers have shared their new single ‘Bimbo’ taken from their upcoming album The Devil You Know, due for release on March 9th via Suicide Squeeze Records. The track is a cathartic burst of melodic guitars and riot grrrl vocals that acknowledges the need to let go and move on.

Switching between gentle verses and a thumping chorus, ‘Bimbo’ is an ideal blend of The Coathanger’s garage-rock and punk sensibilities. Guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel explains the track’s premise further: “‘Bimbo’ is a bittersweet note on love, self preservation, and letting go. It came together naturally and was one of the easiest songs to be written for the new record. It tells two sides of the story but still feels uplifting and positive. An acceptance of things the way they are.”

The single is accompanied by a cool new video, shot during The band’s last European tour by Mackenzie Sutch. The footage was shot mostly in Spain and Portugal and was edited by the trio’s good friend Nacho Montero.

Listen to ‘Bimbo’ below and follow The Coathanger’s on Facebook for more updates

The Devil You Know will be released on March 9th via Suicide Squeeze and is available to pre-order here.

Photo Credit: Matt Odom

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut