Title: Coin Under Tongue/Hussies At Bay
Catalogue Number: Death by Audio
Review Format: LP
Release Year: 2008
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.
June 19, 2008
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