The Coathangers pack everything you want out of punk band into a silly, yet serious package. A package covered in checkered plaid, metal studs, and vintage floral print. Evidence of this can be found in their use of playful nicknames. Bassist Meredith Franco goes by Minnie, Guitarist Julia Kugel is Crook Kid (be sure to say this one out loud), and drummer Stephanie Luke is also known as Rusty. Together, they all share the last name of Coathanger. The trio has a definitively punk rock sense of humor, as well as a keen sense of awareness when it comes to the social issues in our world today. The group supports a woman’s right to choose and their name says it all; a reference to an ill-conceived option of abortion. They carry on the hallowed tradition of punk rock activism with fervor and pace.
The band formed in Atlanta in 2006 as a joke and are currently touring throughout Florida and the South in support of their 5th full length album Nosebleed Weekend. If joke’s on us, we’ve been happily laughing at ourselves for ten years now.
They have refined their raucous brand of rock over the course of their careers, which is pretty astounding considering that initially, as the story goes, none of the members knew how to play any instruments. Though, to be honest, when has the inability to play an instrument ever stopped a punk band before?
The genre is so accessible in this sense and these ladies take to the progression of classic punk rock chords and frantic drum beats like a haymaker to a moshpit.”
Their “can-do” attitude coupled with a level of playfulness has led to the longevity of this group. That same playfulness extends to employing a squeak toy on “Squeeki Tiki” off of their latest release, 2016’s Nosebleed Weekend. The album also yields some unexpectedly complex harmonies on songs like “Watch Your Back.” All three of these ladies can really sing with Crook Kid’s melodic pop sound blending nicely with Rusty’s more smoky tone. A perfect example of Rusty’s sultry vocals can be heard on their song, “Hurricane”.
The Coathangers have tapped into an innate ability to play grimy rock which spans the full gamut from upbeat bubblegum pop vocals to guttural growls, melodic chords to frantic beats, whilst continually maintaining that punk feel. They’ve definitely learned a few new chords along the way and this is really reflected on their latest effort, Nosebleed Weekend.
In true punk rock fashion, many of their songs are also deliciously expletive ridden. The titular title track “Nosebleed Weekend” works its way into the dark recesses of my heart as the song brushes off backhanded compliments of “not that bad for a chick.” I’m not sure what a ‘nosebleed weekend’ might be, but it sounds like a balled up fist headed straight for the face of the smug complimenter.”
Personally, I’m looking forward to raising my own fist and dancing to songs like “Watch Your Back,” “Follow Me,” and the cheeky “Go Away” when the band hits Orlando next month. These songs espouse the kind of upbeat punk vibe that set your feet in motion. Come dance with me at Will’s Pub in Orlando on Saturday, February 4th.
PREVIEW: The Coathangers w/ Wet Nurse by Claire Sevigny
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