Friday, July 2, 2010

The Coathangers on Suicide Squeeze

I've been dreading writing about this every time I saw this draft.
This single is god awful.

And I appreciate Suicide Squeeze. How they decided recently to release a bunch of singles in the coming year, from Iron & Wine, these guys... The Coathangers. They even made a statement on the site saying how much singles have meant to them over the years... and they've released some amazing ones, the holiday Pedro the Lion ones..Elliott Smith, Modest Mouse...I used to look to them constantly to see what I didn't have, they stayed pretty much in print so if you wanted that Elliott Smith single you could find it anywhere.

So why isn't this particular one working? I can't speculate too much on
The Coathangers new album except to say it's missing a lot of what made that self titled one great in the first place. The sloppy, crap garage recording...I could hear them having fun over everything else...coherency, skill, recording technique. It was just the energy they got across on that full length. I couldn't help but like it. The songs were about ridiculous shit without being campy...they traded vocals, instruments. It was like a rehearsal space tape of some awesome drunkeness.
The couple tracks I've heard of their latest don't sound like they're excited about anything, there's a lot of focus on production, the vocals are flat, they must have been recorded in separate rooms....are they sick of each other? Was it a lot of attention too fast?....The final product suffers.
Then there's the fact that these are remixes. I'm biased against the remix to begin with, it never should be the b-side, that's what the 12" dance bullshit is for, don't confuse me!....but these two are just lifeless, not that the fault lies with Dan Deacon or Judi Chicago completely...the thing they are remixing is sort of a punk-ish guitar based where was that really going to go anyway? A new backbeat and then rearrange the vocals? Terrible.
The Dan Deacon one is slightly more interesting because it sounds even less like the source material than Judi, the vocals are cut up and repeated (that's not annoying) but at the end of the day your forcing a dance remix on songs that already are veering far off their original course.

I was thinking about what Mishka said about what you want a band to be...maybe it's my own...well it's definitely my own fault for having high expectations of any band. I get excited about that first single...I make up a backstory for them before there's even any info. But they won't be able to live up to it, I'm going to inevitably be disappointed...but I don't think that's exactly what's going on here. They used to be better, even after I got to know them and spent time with the full length. They promised more and I have the right to be disappointed...especially with this single...which I have to try to forget...for The Coathangers and Suicide Squeeze's sake.

I'll be looking forward to the Iron and Wine one, although I'm not really into what he's been up to recently either.

Enough....It's time for some meat and beer and fireworks until Tuesday.

The Coathangers and JEFF The Brotherhood are up first, both with 7-inch EPs due on July 20th: Atlanta's favorite ladies hand two of their beloved tracks (143 and Arthritis Sux from their Suicide Squeeze debut, "Scramble") to Dan Deacon and Judi Chicago for the specialist treatment... What emerges is pure, ringing joy; from JC's bounce-down dub to the pulsing ‘closing-credits' anthem Deacon somehow Frankenstein's from the band's original tracks. Meanwhile JEFF The Brotherhood, aka Nashville's real-bros, Jake and Jamin Orrall, bring more of their - now legendary - tune shredding to Suicide Squeeze. Two sweet and ripping tracks, highlighted with laser-light solos and melodic guitar hooks that phase thru space on this limited edition 7".

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