Review: The Coathangers – Parasite

Nosebleed Weekend was a fierce, machine gun fast trip through the many faces of The Coathangers. Blasting through those 38 minutes of unadulterated punk, the message of The Coathangers was loud and clear: they don’t want to reinvent the wheel, they just want to hollow it up, climb up a steep hill and ride it inside, careening downhill in a vertiginous trip of madness.

Artist’s depiction.

There, that’s my simple thought on the quite fun, overlooked gem that was Nosebleed Weekend. Is it fair to bring that baggage into Parasite, their newest EP? Yes and no. Yes, because Nosebleed Weekend is a continuation of The Coathangers refinement of their own signature. No, because Parasite is a release independent of any previous efforts, only attached to its own past by an alternate version of ‘Down, down’.

‘Parasite’ has the effectiveness of ‘Squeeki Tiki’; a no-holds-barred attack on the senses with the right amount of garage rock seediness for a late night drive through the grimy streets of Anytown, Anywhere USA. ‘Wipeout’ goes for a false start before finding its groove: a catchy bubblegum call and response pop song with catchy riffs and a discreet bass line.

The alternate take for ‘Down, down’ is an incredible romp. It reminds me of the atmospheric side of Electrelane, with a dash of the pop acumen of Pins. Sure, The Coathangers have slowed down the beats, but the aggressiveness is still there. This is not using your incisors to tear apart flesh, this is a crushing attack.

The Coathangers as Killer Molars from Outer Space? Maybe. There is a slight b-film feeling to their grooves. ‘Drifter’ has that 70s exploitation feel of a low-lit bar set scene, where a lengthy conversation pushes the plot forward. Like ‘Crimson & Clover’ resonating in the ruins of a biker’s bar, near the pieces of a broken Blatz neon sign.

I left ‘Captain’s dead’ until the end of this review. I’m torn between this and ‘Down, Down’ as the track of this collection. ‘Captain’s dead’ deserves the prize, though, as the mood changes rapidly without a hitch. Again, there’s something mesmerizing on the bass groove, silently moving in the back, pulling the rug beneath your feet. One swift pull, ¡adiós amigo!

If you never heard The Coathangers before, this is the right moment to do so. Parasite contains the many moods the band has delved into, polished and weathered, ready to find new ways to carve up new sounds for your listening pleasure.

Words: Sam J. Valdés López

The Coathangers Bandcamp. Twitter. Website.

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