Disclaimer: This review is not only a review of the Coathangers gig, but a social check on my status in terms of music taste. Am I a cynical old prick, I ask myself as I plummet towards the arse end of my thirties? Do my music tastes reside in the past, or do I actually like new stuff? The Coathangers were a good measure, as I used to like the band insert garage rock cliché, “I like their earlier stuff.” However as time went on, I found the sound got more slick complemented by even slicker music videos. Therefore, am I right to be cynical or am I well on my way to grumpy middle-aged musician status?
I arrived at the Moth Club for the gig organised by Bad Vibrations. Once in the place I gravitated towards the middle of the crowd. Due to my age status, I like to position myself on the periphery of where I imagine the mosh pit to be, so you’re kind of cool, but don’t want to get hurt. They arrived on stage and, like how they wear their own shirts, starting a band is hard enough be proud of that shit.
Once they started their set it was pretty clear that they weren’t jaded rock stars and were having a good time. They did that annoying American thing of being really tight, all killer no filler, none of this fucking around with stage ad-libs and excessive tuning – this was further exemplified by them changing instruments for a few songs, again pretty slick and not much fucking around. The band sum up enthusiasm over ability as a unit. They’re tight as fuck when playing their main instruments, but they also keep it loose and fun by changing instruments. What is constant is the awesome blend of vocals, from the gravelly vocals of the drummer, to the bratty vocals of the singer tied together with the bassist’s cute backing vocals. This was highlighted when they played a song off the first album called ‘Nestle in My Boobies.’ The song has a genital tickling dance funk bass line played by the drummer, while the guitarist plays drums and sings and the bass player sings.
‘Squeaky Tik’ is a new song and comprises of drums, bass and vocals interspersed with a squeaky toy noise. It reminded me of the B-52’s song ‘Dance this Mess Around,’ where Fred Schneider plays a toy piano in bits of the song. They then ended with ‘Tonya Harding,’ which sounded just as good as the first time I heard it.
I left suitably happy and not grumpy with the following sentiment ringing in my brain – there are more important things to be annoyed at in the music scene, like recent pictures of Thom Yorke’s miserable face and Dave Grohl’s shit-eating grin. However seeing the Coathangers live was super fun, so much so that this cynical old prick is gonna check out the new album Nosebleed Weekend. However this has fulfilled my good band quota for the year and all other bands I see this year will be shit.