Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Coathangers (want you to nestle in their boobies)

Here's an all-female band from Atlanta doing the Ramone thing with their last names, Minnie Coathanger and so forth. Only a Ramone can't be used in an illegal abortion (it's neither flexible nor an object). And you can't hang a coat from a Ramone (mostly because they're all dead and horizontally positioned).

This debut full-length isn't going to be a “greatest” anything, nor will it likely be remembered ten – hell, even two – years from now. Much like the cheeky, girly and punkish groups that have come slightly before, like the Peppermints, Gravy Train!!!! or even Bratmobile, this is a band carrying such irony and sassy novelty appeal that ironic sass is the only trait for which they can be taken seriously. They're shitty singers, but they know this. Fifteen years ago there were riot grrl bands fronted by women with faux-Valley girl accents to (ironically) emphasize femininity, and the Coathangers are a complete return to that approach, only we're past the political correctness craze of the 1990s, so the Coathangers can get away with crass humor that probably wouldn't have flown at one point. “Shut the Fuck Up” and “Nestle in My Boobies,” they say? Righty-o, then!

The girls note the use of “kiddie” instrument versions like xylophone and accordion over their handclap-laden (mostly) post-punk, and since the band itself exists purely for a temporary source of fun, it's safe to say that they've actually got some hilarious gems within their lyrics. Obvious first choice being:

Leave my shit alone!
Don't touch my shit!
It's my shit!
(Melody kicks in. It's comprised of chaotic telephone rings.)
I told you/don't touch my papers/'cause they're mine!
You say you like my boyfriend/you think he's really hot/
you look at him like that again/I'll punch you in the twat!
Don't touch my shit!

If only Allison Wolfe had followed “gimme back my Cheap Trick record” with “I'll punch you in the twat,” right? They also take a modern stab at social commentary in “Buckhead Betty,” a sort of sarcastic ode to rich housewives, and have a surprisingly decent rock song in “The Missing Letter,” where you'll find some of that kiddie accordion played by BeBe Coathanger. The Coathangers' faux-Valley girl accents make their half-hour record slightly unbearable if swallowed whole, but in limited doses, this is some of the funniest shit that's come out this year. The ideal girls for a house party, if not for sharing tit jokes.

The Coathangers - Don't Touch My Shit!
The Coathangers - The Missing Letter
Stream The Coathangers in its entirety!
Purchase The Coathangers (released September 4)

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