by Caitlin Baldridge
The fact that The Coathangers originally formed as a joke in 2006 gives some insight into their vulgar song titles, simple musicianship, and aggressive lyrics. The playful demeanor of the all-girl punk quartet has landed them some recognition throughout the years, getting signed to Suicide Squeeze Records and landing a gig opening for the Black Lips. The girls certainly aren’t taking themselves seriously with their video for title track “Follow Me” in which they have Mastodon dressed up as themselves to perform the song. Oh, and there’s an accordion player in a moose suit. So all jokes aside, how’d the girls get such an impressive following? Well, besides the fact that punks eat that stuff up, the tracks aren’t half bad either.
The Coathangers emerged out of Atlanta, which is no surprise because like many Atlanta punks, the songs are raunchy, unpolished, and belligerent. The vocals are edgy and holler at you for the majority of the tracks, but what’s interesting is Stephanie Luke’s choice to sing when the song calls for it. She sings in “Drive” and while it still has the same screechy electric guitar and upbeat drums, the vocals are soft and almost tender. Luke murmurs lyrics “The distance baby it makes me sad / And I’m missin’ what we never had / You drive away from me” the chorus is catchy too, which you don’t come across much in punk. It’s nice to hear the girls’ ability to change up their music; however the rest of the album remains within the standard guidelines of punk. Tracks like “Shut Up” has a chorus of “Please shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up…” and “Merry Go Round” with “I wanna go round on the merry go round / I’ll have some fun on the merry go round / I’ll get real high on the merry go round” show their roots of crude songwriting.
I respect what the girls are doing and frankly, I think it’s badass whenever there’s an all-girl band getting recognition. They did a decent job of mixing in a slower song or two, but mainly the album is just too repetitious. If they had shaved off a bit of the four minute songs to make them short and sweet, it would’ve benefited them. That being said, overall they did a good job of creating quality punk music.