COATHANGERS, THE - SUCK MY SHIRT (Green Vinyl) LP
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Suck My Shirt is the fourth full-length for The Coathangers. "It's a balance between overthinking and just going for it," guitarist Crook Kid (Julia Kugel) says of their songwriting strategy. It's a duality immediately apparent with the album opener "Follow Me." It’s a classic Coathangers tune with Stephanie Luke's raspy vocals belted out over their signature ragged garage-rock. But the chorus opens into one of the most accessible hooks in the band's canon, just before segueing into the next verse with a squall of violent dissonant guitar. From there the band launches into "Shut Up," a title that harkens back to the brash sass of their first record. The song still has its spikey guitar riffs and shouted chorus, but here The Coathangers sound less like a jubilant version of Huggy Bear and more like the art-pop of late-era Minutemen. Dedicated Coathangers fans will recognize the re-worked versions of "Merry Go Round," "Smother," "Adderall," and "Derek's Song" from their run of limited edition split 7"s, and hearing them in the context of the album shows that these tracks weren't merely isolated examples of the band's more sophisticated side, but were actually demonstrative of the group's increasing capacity for nestling solid melodic hooks and rock heft into their repertoire. By the time the band wraps up the album with the humble pop perfection of "Drive," it's hard to believe this was the band that garnered their reputation off of raucous bombasts like "Don't Touch My Shit."