The Coathangers “The Devil You Know”
The Coathangers seem to be one of the most hardworking bands around. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were reviewing their last release. Even since then, they’ve released a live album and visited these shores for a handful of gigs. Not that we’re complaining though.
First song “Bimbo” comes as a bit of a surprise, with it’s sweeter than usual vocals and an almost power pop vibe behind the normal garage rock sound. It’s surprising in a good way though, as it’s a corker of a song. Don’t worry though, The Coathangers haven’t abandoned their down and dirty garage sound as shown by “5 Farms” and “Crimson Telephone”.
What this album does do though, is add a wider variety to that sound. There’s still plenty of angsty punk rock like “F the NRA” and “Stasher”. However, they also have the confidence to belt out the cool rock n roll vibe of “Hey Buddy” or the sleazy beat of “Step Back”.
There’s also a darker tone and sense of danger to tracks like “Stranger Danger” and “Memories”. It’s a sound that has us recalling the sludgy, off kilter, rock of the likes of The Stooges or The Cramps. Whilst “Last Call” is like an anthem that’s just ‘calling’ to be picked up by the masses with its Clashesque feel. Then things are really turned on their head by final track “Lithium”, with its slower and haunting sound.
The Coathangers have a knack of delivering a dirty garage rock sound that is steeped in the past, but still sounds fresh. Indeed, the band they really remind us of are the sadly departed Those Darlins. A truly brilliant band that never quite got the attention they deserved. So you need to go out and buy this album (and their previous releases) to make sure The Coathangers don’t risk falling foul of the same problem.