The Coathangers: Brooklyn, NY – live review
The Silent Barn, Brooklyn, NY
March 31st, 2016
Fierce Atlanta trio Coathangers keep busy on tour to celebrate their 5th studio album release, Nosebleed Weekend, and their 10th anniversary as a band. Carrie Quartly saw the 2nd sold out New York date at Brooklyn’s DIY arts mecca Silent Barn.
The Coathangers continue to excite loyal crowds and inspire young music lovers with their strong, irreverent punk, and I have the bruises to prove it.
New local act The Meltaways was a solid opener with catchy anti-anthems about dysfunctional relationships. Their songs were fast-paced but with singalong potential, sweetened a little by the bright, upfront vocals of bassist Beck Kitsis and guitarist Maddy Strassler.
Pill was next, a punk sax collaboration conjuring the angsty, unstructured glory of The Contortions or Essential Logic. The pink-haired and pierced Veronica Torres alternated between deadpan snarling and full-on uvula-swinging screams, backed by John Campolo’s tiny toy guitar, Andrew Spaulding’s savage percussion and Ben Jaffe’s impressionistic saxophone blurts (he told us later about breathing techniques and some guy who was taught by dolphins to hold his breath underwater for long extended periods). Dissonant and avant-garde but also funky and accessible; it’s not surprising Pill’s debut EP was put out by Andrew Savage imprint Dull Tools.
Coathangers began with the latest offerings from Nosebleed Weekend, which were brash and noisy but also creatively vibrant and precisely executed. These short, biting and boisterous songs had fans in a beer throwing frenzy that made staying on my feet for the show a definite challenge. Julia Kugel (Crook Kid) took the lead for most of the set, but the band always share responsibilities and switch it up. “Watch Your Back” was full of ringing, prickly guitar slides, rumbling bass and a tough punk backbeat with vocals shared by Crook Kid and drummer Rusty (Stephanie Luke), magically showcasing their sharp song writing strategy.
“Follow Me” from Suck My Shirt again exemplified the band’s teamwork and rhythmic force with vigorous percussion and a rousing gang chorus. The Coathangers clearly revel in their own energy and keeping pulses accelerated. A bottle of Jameson made its way through the slam dancing crowd before being shanghaied by Stephanie, who took a big burning gulp. The nervous, screeching guitar of “Springfield Cannonball” and the dirty groove of their Gun Club “Sex Beat” cover did nothing to curb the sweaty room’s violent ardor, and a few times I was thrown forward onto the stage towards the flame-heeled feet of petite bassist Meredith Franco (Minnie Coathanger).
New single “Squeeki Tiki” bopped along like a quirky little sister to 2007’s “Nestle In My Boobies”, pairing strangely catchy dog toy squeaks with the snotty refrain of “You can have it/I don’t want that shit/It’s just a bad memory of what I did”.
For the encore, we were treated to the playfully sinister “Merry Go Round”, and a very special guest appearance from the band’s youngest fan who dueted with Julia on the shrill and bratty “Don’t Touch My Shit”. It’s been a joy watching her growing up throughout the years and following the shows with undampened enthusiasm, being seen as early as May 2012 when Coathangers headlined Death By Audio. Julia swung her up and sat her on top of her shoulders as they exited the stage. “This is the future”, she said smiling, “Now go out and vote.”
Watch Your Back
Make It Right
Trailer Park Boneyard
I Don’t Think So
Call To Nothing
Nestle In My Boobies
Merry Go Round
Gettin’ Mad and Pumpin’ Iron
Don’t Touch My Shit
Apr 06 The Echo – Los Angeles, CA
Apr 15 Star Bar – Atlanta, GA
Apr 21 Low Key Arts – Hot Springs, AR
Apr 22 Club Dada – Dallas, TX
Apr 23 Norman Music Festival – Norman, OK
Apr 25 Paper Tiger – San Antonio, TX
Apr 27 Yerberia Cultura – Mcallen, TX
Apr 29 Siberia Nola – New Orleans, LA
May 05 MOTH – London, United Kingdom
May 06 Espace B – Paris, France
May 07 Nuits Sonores Festival – Lyon, France
May 08 Frauenraum – Bern, Switzerland
May 09 Strom – Munich, Germany
May 10 Tsunami Club – Cologne, Germany
May 11 Melkweg Theater – Amsterdam, Netherlands
May 13 Wine Nat White Heat Festival – Nantes, France
May 14 Le Galion – Lorient, France
May 16 Magasin 5 – Brussels, Belgium
May 17 Rotown – Rotterdam, Netherlands
May 18 Übel und Gefährlich – Hamburg, Germany
May 19 Badehaus – Berlin, Germany
May 21 Project Pabst Denver – Denver, CO
May 26 The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA
May 27 The Fonda – Los Angeles, CA
May 28 The Glasshouse – Pomona, CA
May 30 Belly Up – Solana Beach, CA
May 31 Rialto Theater – Tucson, AZ
Jun 01 Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM
Jun 03 Trees – Dallas, TX
Jun 04 Free Press Festival – Houston, TX
Jun 05 Mohawk – Austin, TX
Jun 07 Maverick’s at The Landing – Jacksonville, FL
Jun 08 Revolution – Fort Lauderdale, FL
Jun 09 The Beacham Theater – Orlando, FL
Jun 11 Club 77 – San Juan, PR
All words and photos by Carrie Quartly, you can read more of her writing on the site here.