Coachwhips - Peanut Butter and Jelly Live at the Ming Lounge [LIVE]
There's a 'tipping point' where music becomes noise. Think of the bands that have made entire careers out of straddling this point, like Throbbing Gristle, Whitehouse and, on occasion, My Bloody Valentine. Now imagine a pure rock 'n' roll band attempting the same sort of thing. You've just imagined Coachwhips. Coachwhips specialize in a sort of rock 'n' roll noise festival that's never less than utterly compulsive to listen to and this latest offering is no different in style or content to the last effort, Bangers Vs Fuckers and your opinion of this album will be no different to your opinion of that one. You're either going to love it, hate it or just dismiss it as noise.
Dismissing it as noise would, however, be a mistake. Although the songs rarely vary from the two-tone, wheezing oompah of keyboard and grating guitar accompanied by the crashing of the cymbals, listen closely and it's clear that the band are at all times completely in control of the seemingly anarchic mess they are making. Only a fool would try and compare this album to The Kills latest offering, No Wow but here goes anyway. Whilst The Kills album is a masterpiece of stripped down, nihilistic rock 'n' roll, Coachwhips are the other side of the coin - noisy, fun rock 'n' roll but with the same care and restraint built into the song structures. Not a note is wasted and everything fits perfectly despite sounding like The Hives in a blender.
Lets not dismiss the idea of fun, either. Coachwhips offer a rare, off-beat sense of humor that manifests itself mainly in the song titles and the sparse lyrics. Helpfully, a lyric sheet is included and if you find the song titles raise a knowing smile, then be assured that the actual lyrics accompanying them will probably simply mystify you. Here's the lyrics in full to 'Ya No Ya Wanna' - 'hey. you oughta. you know you wanna. you see rite through me. im leaking money'. Fuck knows what it means, it'll mean something different to everyone who reads it, but its good. Yeah, it's damned good and so is the song.
This is a short album, clocking in at 21 minutes or so, but not one second is wasted. There's a small similarity going on to the UK's very own Gin Palace but whereas that particular band offer a slightly more traditional blues based punk approach to their music, Coachwhips take that idea and turn the noise levels up to way past 11. If you're bored of traditional rock music, and want to listen to something that is at once recognizable and yet sounding like nothing else on earth, give them a try. This is an album that's the aural equivalent of being run over by train but you'll enjoy every second of it. Needs to be loud to be appreciated properly.