Recorded at Nickel and Dime Studios, and released in the late summer of 2007 by Atlanta micro labels Rob’s House and Die Slaughterhaus, The Coathangers’ self-titled debut album captured the band in their frantic and playful introductory stages, when it was all done for silly local fun and thoughts of taking things a bit more seriously were furthest from their minds. Full of in-jokes and random soundbites, it may be unpolished but it’s loaded with killer songs like “Wreckless Boy,” “Parking Lot” and “Don’t Touch My Shit!” and the musical eclecticism that would soon come to characterize the group is absolutely already on full display. In short, 13 years on, the album holds up.
But it’s been out of print for a while, and has been tough for many of the band’s fans – especially ones that have come on board more recently – to procure. That’ll change on Dec. 4 when Seattle-based Suicide Squeeze – the band’s home since their “Shake Shake” single in 2008 and second album Scramble the following year – re-releases The Coathangers on vinyl (colored, of course), augmented with a pair of extra tracks: “Never Wanted You” from their first Die Slaughterhaus single in 2006, and “Wife Eyes” (with drummer Stephanie Luke and original keyboardist Candice Jones switching instruments) from the Hard Candy 7” that Die Slaughterhaus put out a few years later.
It’s great to have these early peeks at The Coathangers’ scrappy individualism back within easy reach. I’d have loved to have also seen the other songs from the “Never Wanted You” 7-inch (“Spider Hands,” “Tripod Machine,” the original “Don’t Touch My Shit!”) thrown in as well, at least on a CD version… but hey, nobody asked me. But who could’ve really predicted how accurate the spoken outro clip at the end of The Coathangers would turn out to be for the band: “The fact that you are listening to this record proves that you are interested in larger success.”
Photo by Ryan Russell.