When The Coathangers first stormed on the scene over a decade ago, their power resided in their ability to craft a crooked hook out of a grimy guitar line, a delightfully crass chorus, or an enticingly ham-fisted drum-and-bass groove. With each successive album, the Atlanta garage punk ensemble has increasingly tempered their brash charm with sharp-witted pop. Not that the band ever fully excised the primal howl of The Gories or the sparse strut of ESG, but with the trio’s latest EP, Parasite, The Coathangers explore the space between their initial unbridled expressionism and their recent nuanced song craft. “I’d like to think the EP takes you on a journey through the band’s existence,” says guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel of the sequencing of the five songs on their latest offering.
Parasite kicks off with the title track, a rowdy throwback to a younger, angrier incarnation of the band. Crafted in the wake of the election and during a tumultuous period in the band members’ private lives, “Parasite” is pure catharsis. “During the making of our last album, I didn’t want to scream anymore, I just wanted to sing and focus on melody. When we came to this recording, I just wanted to scream and curse.” If the EP is meant as a journey through the various stages of the band’s career, it certainly storms out of the gate with the same kind of piss-and-vinegar of their eponymous debut. And while “Wipe Out” is another rowdy venture, with bassist Meredith Franco taking over the lead vocal duties over a steady barrage of pointed power-chords, it also showcases the rousing choruses that elevated the trio from underground heroines to an internationally renowned garage act. Despite the adverse times, The Coathangers’ mastery of pop cannot be contained forever, as is evident in the EP’s single “Captain’s Dead”, with its sultry verses, triumphant chorus, and a bombastic freak-out of noisy guitar. The journey through The Coathangers’ musical evolution leads to a revamped version of “Down Down” off 2016’s Nosebleed Weekend LP and the smoky twang of “Drifter”, in which drummer/vocalist Stephanie Luke demonstrates her knack for solid Dusty Springfield-style ballads.
Parasite’s cover features an illustration of The Coathangers as sirens of the sea, an image that aptly captures the nautical themes of the EP. But the notion of The Coathangers as both mischievous and enchanting is certainly fitting too, as is evident in the alternately piercing and beguiling tracks on their latest EP. Suicide Squeeze is proud to offer Parasite as a one-sided 12” on Sea Green vinyl with a b-side etching with an initial limited pressing of 2000 copies. The EP is also available digitally. Parasite is available worldwide on June 30th, 2017.
Praise for 2016’s Nosebleed Weekend:
“Who knew that even in punk, practice could make perfect?” SPIN
“…the group’s best so far!” NPR’s All Songs Considered
“Nosebleed Weekend, their newest record out this Friday, solidifies a place in punk history for the band…” Galore
“The Coathangers are mad as hell on Nosebleed Weekend.” The FADER
“On its 13 tracks, the album bristles with edgy energy.” BITCH
“…the trio consistently pushes itself into new territory with every release.” Interview Magazine
“Though they may have lived a decade-long adrenaline rush, The Coathangers’ persistence and motivation is as present as ever on Nosebleed Weekend.” She Shreds
“…it’s a nasty, jagged piece of rockabilly-influenced punk rock, the kind nobody makes often enough anymore.” Stereogum
“Those who doubted their skills in the beginning will get a face full of the Coathangers’ sharpest songs to date with Nosebleed Weekend…” Creative Loafing
“…spiky garage rock guitars and a clap-along chorus that bridges the gap between power pop and no wave dissonance.” Consequence of Sound
“…reminiscent of the garage rock sound of 2014’s Suck My Shirt yet slightly rougher, showcasing Stephanie Luke’s raspy vocals.” Brooklyn Vegan
“Much like their Atlanta-scene peers Black Lips, The Coathangers have morphed from their shambolic punk beginnings and expanded their sound to encompass garage and pop.” LA Weekly