The Coathangers, Suck My Shirt

Jonah Bromwich

By Jonah Bromwich

on 03.24.14 in Reviews

The Atlanta punk band the Coathangers originally formed as a joke, with song titles like “Nestle in My Boobies” (a classic) and “Don’t Touch My Shit.” But they’ve tightened up in the past few years, and the loss of the keyboardist Candice Jones, known to fans as Bebe Coathanger, seems to have helped them to get more serious. The songs on Suck My Shirt belong nominally to elemental Ramones-style punk, but the band covers a wide swath of territory without ever deviating from its core sound.

Defiant and fun in its sour-and-sweet approach

The album kicks off with the basics on the pedal-to-the-metal rocker “Follow Me,” then slowly adds shades of surf rock, Phil Spector girl-group pop (“Shut Up,” “Zombie”) and, late in the album, the pop-punk thrash of Green Day and Wavves (“Derek’s Song,” “Drive). There are missteps: “Love Em and Leave Em” is confused, combining a heavier sound with a country twang and simple storytelling that eventually erupts into Offspring-like riffage. But for the most part, the exploration never seems forced, or anything but fun, with all three women in the band taking a turn at the microphone. Suck my Shirt is defiant and fun in its sour-and-sweet approach to both music and lyrics. The songs are short, the music’s loud, the album’s great. Full stop.