Larceny & Old Lace

Suicide Squeeze (2011) Loren

Coathangers – Larceny & Old Lace cover artwork
Coathangers – Larceny & Old Lace — Suicide Squeeze, 2011

For a city its size, I know next to nothing about the Atlanta, GA scene. For some reason I think of Nashville Pussy-styled sleaze rock, Athens indie, and dirty South hiphop—none of which remotely apply to the Coathangers. Instead, the Coathangers take a post-punk, No Wave sound and run with it, adding in more contemporary influences such as Riot Grrl vocals, 2000s dancepunk tones, and miscellaneous effects that give it a fresher and more energetic edge.

Larceny & Old Lace wholly lives up to the hype surrounding this band and their third release. It’s brash and loud, as the moniker suggests, but they mix some sugary, bouncy beats that counter the aggression. Rather than sounding pissed off, the record is a fully rounded character—one who happens to be angry a lot of the time, but who also knows how to have a good time. It plays quickly—11 songs in under half an hour—but the songs are well paced and varied in tempo. It’s both cathartic in nature and artistically intriguing.

“Hurricane” gets things underway with an immediate kick, led by choppy guitars and a dominant bass drum. It sets an early tone of loud and feisty, but with a don’t-fuck-with-me attitude. Over the early course of the record, they hit on 60s pop (“Go Away”) and punky garage (“Sick”), with unifying, forceful percussion that often dominates the other sounds. The songs all stand on their own, but it’s not until the final third of the record where the angular, angry sound is really cohesive from track to track, building not just memorable songs, but a solid album to boot. The playful shouting on “Johnny” weaves its way into a group vocals while Rusty Coathanger hits the skins, creating a hypnotic and rhythm-heavy backbone that continues into “Chicken 30,” mixing the singalong chorus with experimental art rock and creating an angry, unique sound in the process that would fit, at different times, on both Dischord and Kill Rock Stars. Following this build-up is “Well Alright,” which is something of a Riot Grrl blues song, and the ending ballad “Tabacco Rd,” which is surprisingly endearing after a lot of tongue-in-cheek swagger over the previous ten songs.

8.2 / 10Loren • August 22, 2011

See also

Coathangers – Larceny & Old Lace cover artwork
Coathangers – Larceny & Old Lace — Suicide Squeeze, 2011

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