Magnificent, spiky, scrappy, and fun...
'Nosebleed Weekend'

Though it comes across with all the energy and urgency of a debut record, stick with it and 'Nosebleed Weekend' gently reveals the ten-year career which has preceded it. Formed as a four-piece in Atlanta in 2006, The Coathangers' ambitions went little further than having fun with friends, something which was manifest in the irreverent and angular garage-punk of the band's early releases, and can still be felt in their records even now.

This sense of poppy irreverence contributes to 'Nosebleed Weekend's urgency excellently, whilst the band's refusal to settle on any one genre provides a playful air of skittishness. A record segueing from post-punk, garage-rock and pop, might, in lesser hands, feel fractured and disorganised, but here the production links each track with a soft blanket of Hollywood cool; a reflection not just of The Coathangers inevitably maturing, but also of their relocation from a studio in Atlanta to North Hollywood's Valentine Recording Studios, and the first session there since its doors were shut in 1979.

That the studio's left its mark on 'Nosebleed Weekend' is of little surprise. Essentially a time capsule of LA's music industry, its first product in almost 40 years drips with nostalgic and nonchalant cool from the off. Opener 'Perfume' is both poppy and gritty, it's vocal melodies harking back to LA's sun-kissed '70s. The sleek and sleazy 'Down Down' too - a spiky post-punk breakdown the only interruption of it's effortless chic.

At its very core however, 'Nosebleed Weekend' is a punk record, and it isn't without the snarl and swagger that brings. 'Make It Right' and 'Had Enough' come across like The Descendants – driven by both self-angst and a burning desire to call people out – while 'Squeeki Tiki', 'Watch Your Back' and 'Burn Me' all subscribe to the same brand off-kilter hooks as post-punks Shopping.

Though on first listens the record may well come off a little disjointed or even occasionally scrappy, its ability to move between genres without ever losing pace is a testament to the band's talent. And while some tracks do begin to sound alike, the effortless cool that drips from the more fleshed-out and established cuts provides 'Nosebleed Weekend' with more than enough substance to make up for them. “Hooray for Hollywood” ironically reads the final line of the record. Hooray indeed.

7/10

Words: Dave Beech

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