The Coathangers “The Devil You Know” 2019. Suicide Squeeze Records. Limited edition colored vinyl “Bittersweet” variant. Punchy, modern feminist garage-punk, The Devil You Know is The Coathangers’ sixth full-length LP and it’s soooo good. My favorite track is the menacing “Crimson Telephone” but I also really like the more upbeat, almost bubbly tracks like “Bimbo,” “Hey Buddy” and “Memories.” I should note that they are upbeat and bubbly musically; the messages of The Coathangers’ lyrics decry misogyny, gay/queer bashing and gun nuts (“Fuck the NRA” is fantastic!) – The Coathangers’ world is definitely not OK.
Death Valley Girls “Darkness Rains” 2018. Limited edition yellow with red splatter, Suicide Squeeze Records. We picked up what I believe is DVG’s third LP this past weekend at Romanus Records Fest in Indianapolis where they headlined the jam-packed (15 bands!) evening lineup. Hard driving, punkish garage rock with nods to the darkness of goth and touches of neo-psychedelia via organ and lead guitarist Larry Schemel (who on stage was kinda relegated to the background, allowing the Girls to shine up front, mostly with huge smiles on their faces during the entire set).
We were able to grab the set-list, excellently illustrated:
DVG played several tracks from Darkness Rains, many of them my favorite on the album. They led off with “Abre Camino,” an intensely dark and throbbing scorcher that is the first track on Side B. From Darkness Rains also is the high octane rocker “Street Justice,” the hypnotic “More Dead,” “Disaster (Is What We’re After)” which features Iggy Pop eating a hamburger while jamming out to the song’s beat in its video (spoiler: he clearly loves ketchup), and my top track, “Wear Black” upon which lead singer, guitarist and keyboardist Bonnie Bloomgarden pulls out some amazing psychedelic organ.