Every Record I Own - Day 246: The Coathangers Suck My Shirt
The story goes something like this: four young Atlantan women decided they wanted to start a band so they could play a house party. They didn’t know how to play any instruments, but that didn’t stop them from trying. The house show was a success—what the band lacked in traditional chops they made up for in pure exuberance. One show led to another, and then there was a record, and then there was another record, and twelve years later The Coathangers (now a three piece) are a full-time internationally touring band.
I first met these folks when they toured with These Arms Are Snakes and All The Saints on an East Coast jaunt supporting our final record back in 2009. Back then they were this jagged, raucous, no-wave/post-punk band that sounded like Penis Envy-era Crass mixed with The Slits and the first B-52s record, but by the time 2014′s Suck My Shirt came out they were offsetting their more boisterous moments with these pretty golden-oldies vintage rock songs. These Arms Are Snakes would eventually release a split 7″ with them and I’ve wound up writing the bios for their last three LPs.
I love The Coathangers because they always serve as a welcome reminder that the spirit and energy of the music is more important than a perfect performance. The music I loved in my formative years was always rough around the edges, and being able to decipher the magic from a gritty performance or a lo-fi recording somehow made the songs feel so much more personal and direct. This isn’t music designed for mass appeal. It’s designed for the people dancing together and spilling their beer everywhere at the house party.