Coathangers Live Album Out June 1st

The Coathangers’ tenacious touring regimen, and the resulting continual solidification and intensification of their live performances, have always been impressive. Thankfully, their shows have lost little of the playful party vibe of their early years in the ascent toward bigger crowds and heightened professionalism. And now it’s reached the point that they’re officially releasing a document of The Coathangers Concert Experience Circa 2018 (actually, Nov. 2017 to be precise) in the form of their first live album.

Recorded over two carnivalesque nights of free shows last November at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, California (member Julia Kugel’s current home base), The Coathangers Live crams 14 songs into 38 rambunctious minutes, with selections spanning the band’s 13(!) years: “Tonya Harding” from their debut, “Arthritis Sux” and “Gettin’ Mad and Pumpin’ Iron” from Scramble, “Hurricane” from Larceny & Old Lace, five from Suck My Shirt, four from Nosebleed Weekend and “Captain’s Dead” from last year’s Parasite EP. “It’s kinda trippy, this record,” Kugal notes. “It’s like our anthology.”

Mixed by Kugel’s husband Scott Montoya in their new home studio, The Coathangers Live will undoubtedly thrill fans who favor that rawer spirit and boisterous adrenaline the trio (Kugel, Stephanie Luke and Meredith Franco) dependably delivers onstage. And that’s cool, because as Kugel observes, “[this] sounds how we’ve never been able to sound on our studio albums… LIVE! Our live shows are who we really are, so this is kind of our first record.” Of course, I love their studio recordings too, and in fact many of my favorite Coathangers songs are ones that they don’t play live anymore, or rarely even played much in the first place. But that’s part of what makes this unclassifiable band so captivating – for a band with such a simple setup, there are so many different facets to them, some of which tend to go overlooked in favor of echoing the obvious.

Speaking of, The Coathangers Live is obviously going to be a fun, raucous album that you’ll wanna crank up ’til you crack the neighbors’ drywall. Suicide Squeeze will release it June 1st on digital, cassette and a limited first-edition pressing of 1,500 copies on tri-color vinyl. (No CD? “Waaaaahhhhh!!!” cries the old guy.) Oh, and by the way, if you want to truly experience The Coathangers live, they’re playing at some shithole called Tipsy McSway’s in New Brunswick, Georgia on Tuesday, May 29th, which in itself should prove to be an adventure beyond compare.