Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hanging Coffins on Malt Duck Records

Melissa at Malt Duck sent their latest over from a band out of Eugene, OR called Hanging Coffin. You might think you're in store for some angry bummer no-fi scream fest, but actually these guys are surprisingly melodic, a sort of surf coast goth sound. A lot like Nothing People or even one of my favorite bands, Deadbolt. I found out about them around a punk rock high school phase, and I realized by taking this horror music so completely seriously, it was funny...and better than those dudes trying so hard t be bad asses. Hanging Coffin (or Clanging Dolphins) have that baritone, scary sounding Misfits delivery. The whole thing has a forgotten antiqued photo texture, these are long lost rediscovered recordings from a suburban dungeon. But I'm making it sound way too evil,...let's say like Nothing People, they're something off about their nostalgic sound. They're looking back with some kind of prejudice...an anti-romanticism. The past wasn't that great, nothing ever is.

'Bombers and Blues', the first track on the A-Side definitely has this surf foundation, heavy reverb wet electric, fast finger picking over that Dick Dale slow strum, all coming together with this great percussion rhythm, which keeps this moving in a really catchy pop direction....you wouldn't think they had anything to do with that Bauhaus dark sound yet. The surf even gets slightly eastern, world sounding and you have core elements of Killing an Arab...weird dark pop.
The next one, 'Ladies Upstairs' adds that '60s Rhodes psyche keyboard to the reverb mix, and the vocals this time are a lot more aggressive and nightmarish...unintelligible yelling, just frightening. They must really hate their neighbors. There's a repetitive Velvets sound here but then vocally it's going to a much darker place. You can't hear this level of release and just think it's informed by west coast surf alone.
The B-Side, These Little Creatures, then get back to that stereotype west coast mellow surf with the far away back of the cave drums. The vocals are even run through a phaser and the combination works. Just when they start to fall into faithfully reenacting that previous period, they go and update the sound like this, taking those chances, borrowing from that period and making it their own.
They have a pretty great unique sound, a little nostalgic psyche, with a surf goth minimalism. I know Wavves is obsessed with those titles, but it really fits.

Look for them on the next Worlds Lousy with Ideas comp, plus the first 100 copies come with a cassette of even more psyche dread. Pick this one up, put it on a mix with Mattress, Nothing People, and Deadbolt... or the Mummies, Dick Dale...maybe a track from Blank Dogs or Los Llamaradas - it would seriously impress your friends...how do you do it?

300 on black vinyl, the first 100 get that cassette FOR FREE! Malt Duck Records.

300 Pressed on Black Vinyl. First vinyl release by this Eugene, OR group. First 100 copies will include a limited edition cassette EP.

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