by Stephen Krock
With the upcoming March 18th release of The Coathangers’ fourth full album, Suck My Shirt, one must ask oneself, “Suck my shirt? What?”
According to the Madames Coathangers themselves, “We were recording the new album in the studio with Ed and Justin (Rawls and McNeight, respectively, their trusty production team) and we were passing around a bottle of tequila. Ed spilled some on his shirt so we said ‘You better suck that outta that shirt!’ as we were low on tequila and it just kinda came outta that joke. We like to have a good time, what can we say?”
What else needs to be said? The Coathangers’ genesis as a band and, indeed, their very mission statement (which itself is probably too strong a word) stems from a very simple philosophy. They like to have a good time. “We started the band for fun, to make music we wanted to listen to and play. It just kinda snow-balled from there,” they say. “We just want to show people – male or female – that you should be able to have fun as well as create music that means something. Everything else in the world is so serious and music should be creative and exciting, make ya wanna thrash about for 30 minutes and just let everything else disappear. If people like it: awesome; if not: who cares?” In an increasingly over serious world, it’s refreshing to have artists that retain their devil may care attitude even as they mature.
And mature they have. In The Coathangers’ current lifespan of a just a few years, the band has amassed a discography that started with seductive, sassy spontaneity and happy accidents to well-crafted, grime laden, rock coating honest-to-God accessible hooks and pop Goddess perfection. All drawn from solid inspirations ranging from Beastie Boys and Bikini Kill to Wu-Tang, to Slayer, to Patsy Cline, to The Clash. Yet they remain far from any kind of polishing or refinement that wouldn’t make them The Coathangers. A name which itself aptly evokes their punk kid, damn-the-man spirit.
“The name came from just brainstorming,” the ladies explain. “We were on a ten hour car ride to DC to protest against Bush back in the day, so we had a lot of time on our hands. We thought it was one of those names that could be interpreted a bunch of different ways and was also bold enough to make people think. But don’t get it twisted, we are pro-choice and we don’t condone coat-hanger abortions, so… yeah…”
Along with the release of Suck My Shirt, comes some painting the country red, as The Coathangers tour throughout 2014 as much as possible. Crook Kid Coathanger, Minnie Coathanger, and Rusty Coathanger (self appointed stage names nodding to The Ramones) will be in Philadelphia in April. “We love y’all up there! It’s always a fun time! Not that we can specifically remember, because we’re usually boozin’ hard with people who come out to the shows.”
April 19th at Kung Fu Necktie with Audacity. It’s sure to be a bombast of a night to remember. Or not to be remember, if you’re doing it right.