The new album by Atlanta-based punk quartet the Coathangers vibrates with charismatic energy and attitude-driven lyrics. The band has blossomed since its pawnshop days, when the members didn’t even know how to play their instruments. They’ve transitioned into cheeky, gritty and, at times, powerfully provocative songwriters and musicians on Larceny And Old Lace, an exercise in holding authority over chaos.
This album marks the third release by the band, its second release for Suicide Squeeze. The Coathangers pushed its way into the scene on numerous tours, headlining bars while playing supporting gigs for Thermals and These Arms Are Snakes. The band’s playful and aggressive sound transfers seamlessly from album to album, yet Larceny And Old Lace pushes the Coathangers to a new level.
The album opens with the energetic punch of “Hurricane.” In the video for this one, the girls explore a decrepit building while practicing questionable medical procedures on each other. “Go Away” is a subtle and low-key track laced with layered vocals and an upbeat keyboard solo. “Jaybird”’s fuming lyrics and vocals compensate for the lack of melody, and the bandmates’ singing often makes up for any problems with the songs. Guitarist Julia Kugel’s upbeat chirp accents the raging cries of drummer Stephanie Luke, and when the whole band chants along, the energy knows no boundaries. Most tracks on Larceny aren’t exactly catchy, but the band’s incessant enthusiasm and punchy delivery show that there’s more to good music than earworms.