CD Review: The Coathangers


The Coathangers


Suicide Squeeze Records

By Samantha A. Parvin

The Atlanta all-female quartet, The Coathangers, presents their latest and second full-length album Scramble with great enthusiasm.

Their style showcases several characteristics of African and early American roots music (and ultimately blues, rhythm and blues, pop, hip-hop and rap genres), such as call-and-response, syncopated rhythms, and the accented “one-beat,” made popular by James Brown in the early 1960s. By contrast, the heart-heavy tracks evoke such emotions as sorrow, frustration, excitement, love and content.  Lyrics like “Take Back / Why’d you even say that? / I’ve just gotta tell you I’m gonna gonna break your f*ckin’ face!” definitely promote these young ladies’ emotions as inspirational to their music. 

But for some, it may be a hard sell. One must listen carefully and get past the girly hoops and hollers to actually make out the lyrics of the songs; and if you’re listening carefully enough to distinguish each word, then you are probably having difficult fist-pumping and head-bobbing, for which the band is so famously known. 

If you enjoy this female scream-o style, then you’ll love everything that The Coathangers have done; but if the top-of-your-lungs-at-a-pitch-only-dogs-can-hear is not your forté, this group will not make your top 5. Luckily, there are a few more melodic tracks to break up the – dare I say – monotony of the scream-o, such as “Sonic You”; and though the radio announcement-type sound effects are not exactly original, they do add character to the album. 

All in all, if this is the kind of scene you can get into, you’ll love The Coathangers Scramble album. If your taste lives elsewhere, no worries; there is plenty of music out there for all of us!

Featured on Atlanta Music Guide.

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