Sunday, September 28, 2008

Studies Show, Some People Love Coin Under Tongue; Area Man dissapproves

We threw some Coin Under Tongue records in the mail to see if they would eventually pop up on the internet. Amazingly, these records reached their destinations and the fingers hit the keyboards and the screens displayed the pixels. from JULIAN COPE'S HEAD HERITAGE site: "Two vinyl releases have caught my attention this month, the first being the debut 12” EP by post-everything teen rockers Coin Under Tongue, whose six-track rides an electrifying third rail power trip something like the Scars doing ‘Killing an Arab’-period Cure AND attempting Zeppelin riffola in an overly Undertones-like exuberant post At The Drive-In stylee. I don’t mean there’s any buddy Feargal Sharkey among the band’s ranks, just a pure and unadulterated youth vision that rarely gets heard today, except in a gauchely manufactured and archly-corporate manner. Those of you who remember the Washdown’s excellent album a coupla years back will most serpently wanna grab a copy. Locate this sucker at" from DELUSIONS OF ADEQUACY (thank you Jennifer Patton!) "Describing Coin Under Tongue isn't easy. While most firmly rooted in post-punk, the band slips through styles like a chameleon. There's plenty of noise and garage rock, but there's definitely a 70's Southern rock tinge dancing along with hardcore and something surprisingly booty shaking rears its ugly little head from time to time. Ultimately, I don't know what to call Coin Under Tongue, but I surely love it. The members of Coin Under Tongue are part of Death By Audio, a Brooklyn, NY guitar effects pedal manufacturer, music venue, and studio space. Coin Under Tongue/Hussies at Bay was recorded in the collective's self-built studio. Not much information is available about the band itself, they (gasp!) don't have a website and it seems they only started playing shows fairly recently. This release is available on 12" vinyl or CD - and if you have access to a record player you should do yourself the favor of checking out the vinyl, despite that fact that this review shows the cover from the CD. When "Coin Under Tongue" begins you immediately get a nice deep groove reminiscent of many 70's bands, but the crunchy chords and screamy vocals bring the song hurtling through the decades to the present. Although the band have been described elsewhere as a "heavier, Southern Nirvana" they are more Kyuss to my ears, at least from this first track. "This Flag is a Scythe" gives the drums center stage alongside a guitar riff that could have been plucked from a 50's surf or rockabilly band. Coin Under Tongue doesn't stay mired in retro sounds though, this song is something wholly original. "The New Lore" has a more New Wave feel, but also makes me wonder if any member of this band ever spent time in a hardcore band. "Last Rites" has an underlying current of chaos. The song is borderline schitzo - not fractured enough to be pure noise and not cohesive or bouncy enough to be dance rock, but charged up enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand at attention. "High Until We Die" sounds like a buzzsaw was recorded in the background for extra effect. This track is spastic and bone crushing, but I know in my neck of the woods the Philly head bob would be full on. The last pair of songs on Coin Under Tongue/Hussies at Bay - "Roll Child" and "Shaven Clean" - couldn't be more different. "Roll Child" is where I hear the easiest comparison to a group like Nirvana, but that 50's or 60's feel peeks through as well. "Shaven Clean" starts off with some nice, fuzzy guitar and great drumming. This song is dance music for the punk/hardcore set. A great beat, plenty of swagger, and enough edge that not an ounce of cheese can be detected. Coin Under Tongue is a lot of fun. I can see many confused audiences of aging scenesters being downright confused by this band while they wait for the headliner to come on, but I guess that's half the fun. Clearly all those years in the scene aren't doing you any good. If post-punk, spazzy, not-quite-noise sounds appealing there is a lot to love about this album. Don't miss it." from BLUESBUNNY (in Glasgow!): "It's 2008 and yet bands still release their music on vinyl. Why? Because it sounds better (we hope) and watching that 12" slab on vinyl spinning around is a reward in itself. It looks like they think that way in Brooklyn, NY with this release by Coin Under Tongue. They must be an underground band as they don't even have a website. They do have some songs though. Coin Under Tongue is the kind of shady name that would fit a death metal band quite well and the self titled opening track did indicate that particular musical genre. Power chords and screaming vocals, you know the sort of thing. You know you should hate it and you actually do until the clock strikes midnight. "This Flag is a Scythe" was, in contrast, a much subtler affair with some distinctly pleasing guitar riffs that could trace their heritage all the way back to Tom Verlaine. That's the thing here - many bands have the self same influences but there is something a bit unsettling here. It is difficult to quantify but Coin Under Tongue seem to wander way too close to the edge and then come all the way back in to safety. There are bits and pieces in there like percussion and odd guitar riffs that just jump in to the mix and then vanish. "High until We Die", in particular, seemed schizophrenic as it sounds like three songs are trying to fight their way to the surface. Funnily enough, I was listening to some old Josef K singles the other day and it had the same sense of underlying sense of darkness and confusion. It isn't the eighties now, of course, so the posturing of that time is not present to balance things out making the result all the more disturbing. Rounding things off is a splendid part post punk, part garage, part chainsaw, neighbour annoying musical grenade. It goes by the name of "Shaven Clean". Makes you want to ride a Harley off into the sunset. This album turned out to be sterling stuff. It may not be the most inventive collection of songs that the Bluesbunny has heard but it is never boring and the discordant approach the band take grows on you and incites your curiosity to find out more about them. Worth tracking down? Reckon so. By the way, in the interest of science, the vinyl and CD versions were compared and the vinyl was better. Told you."