Atlanta’s tireless garage punks The Coathangers have cranked out five full-lengths and well over a dozen singles, splits, and EPs. Considering the band’s initial aspirations to merely hang out and play a few house parties, their relentless touring schedule is perhaps the greatest testament to the lasting power of their scrappy hook-laden records and the infectious energy radiating from their live shows. And while every Coathangers record has captured their buoyant turbulence and jagged euphoria, there is always some degree of magic that inevitably gets lost when bands go into the studio.
Perhaps it’s the energy transference from the audience that’s missing or maybe it’s the push-and-pull of the musicians playing together in a volatile environment. Whatever the source of that inexplicable magic, The Coathangers have always wrangled a rowdy replication of that sweaty and sticky live feeling, but the time had come to properly document it.
Their quest for enchantment prompted The Coathangers: 2 Nights of Magic, a free two-night stand at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, California replete with magicians, tarot card readings, burlesque dancers, palm readers, and a giant papier-mâché rabbit for photo-ops. And out of those shows came ‘LIVE’, the first Coathangers release to document the band in their natural habitat.
“It’s kinda trippy, this record,” says guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel. “It’s like our anthology… our entire career in 38 minutes.” Sure enough, ‘LIVE’ spans everything from the slow-burn pop of “Captain’s Dead” from last year’s ‘Parasite EP’ to the rabblerousing rocker “Tonya Harding” from their self-titled debut.
The boisterous magic was captured by Dylan Ely and front-of-house engineer Eric Huff, with Kugel’s husband Scott Montoya handling the mixing in their new home studio. “I love the way it sounds,” Kugel says of the record. “It’s pumped me up for the next record! It sounds how we’ve never been able to sound on our studio albums… LIVE! Our live shows are who we really are so this is kind of our first record.”
Sure enough, ‘LIVE’ captures the playful fervor of The Coathangers at their finest. “Gettin’ Mad and Pumpin’ Iron”sounds even more gloriously unhinged here than when it first appeared on ‘Scramble’ back in 2009. Fan favorites like “Adderall” sound increasingly ragged and desperate as drummer Stephanie Luke belts out the verses and choruses on an adrenaline rush. Recent songs like bassist Meredith Franco’s ‘Nosebleed Weekend’ highlight “Burn Me” feel injected with a manic urgency that pushes the tightly wound post-punk number into an unruly anthem.
The Coathangers successfully captured the magic of their concerts, and now Suicide Squeeze is proud to offer ‘LIVE’ to the world on June 1st 2018 via digital formats and a limited pressing of 1500 copies of tri-color vinyl. The Coathangers will be touring Europe later this year - watch this space for more details!
‘LIVE’ track list:
1. Watch Your Back
2. Follow Me
4. Arthritis Sux
5. Captain’s Dead
6. Burn Me
7. Make It Right
8. Springfield Cannonball
11. Tonya Harding
12. Getting’ Mad and Pumpin’ Iron
13. Shut Up
14. Squeeki Tiki