The Coathangers: Nosebleed Weekend

More weekend than nosebleed, the Coathangers deliver a mix of sluggishly performed garage rock and passable punk attitude.

The Coathangers

Nosebleed Weekend

Label: Suicide Squeeze
US Release Date: 2016-04-15
UK Release Date: 2016-04-15

Nosebleed Weekend is the second Coathangers record without keyboardist Candice Jones, the follow-up to 2014’s Suck My Shirt, and if there’s one takeaway it’s that their sound has grown leaps and bounds in confidence. Without keyboards to fall back on their playing has gotten more adventurous and more sure-footed. The Coathangers have been going for ten years now, but the trend of female-fronted garage rock being incorporated into the mainstream lends itself best to their current output. Nosebleed Weekend is an album that feels of its time, in a way most of their previous releases have missed the mark on.

The Coathangers do their best work at their lowest, their most dirty. Lead single “Make It Right” is satisfyingly grungy garage punk that is a natural face for the record as a whole. Other notable moments include “Watch Your Back”, which sounds like Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables eating Surfin’ Safari alive, and features a really energetic breakdown partway through. “Down Down” is the unexpectedly catchy tune nobody was expecting but everybody was hoping for: it stitches together a lot of different moods but the chorus goes right for the kill and sells the whole song. “Dumb Baby” is a hooky track that sounds like a lo-fi interpretation of some of the early Arctic Monkeys musical tropes. Throw in the fun, serviceable guitar solo and you’ve got a reason to keep the record playing.

A lot of this record seems like it owes a debt to April March, to be honest, and anyone who’s heard “Chick Habit” knows that sound is a matter of taste. The Coathangers bring some good punk sensibility to the table but the majority of these tracks lack the velocity that would bring them into moshable territory. “Burn Me” is bland but acceptable, and “Nosebleed Weekend” could be great if it got punched up a little; if it committed to the attitude of its driving chorus.

There are moments when this lethargy really works: “Excuse Me?” is meditative, it works around a moody, distinctive bass line and shifts into something harder and more vicious at the chorus. It’s a dynamic track, made possible by the torpid mood of the verses. “I Don’t Think So” is an example of this technique used to less success: it’s buried deep enough in the record that it kills the momentum of the more upbeat tracks and fails to land.

The worst track on Nosebleed Weekend is also probably its most daring: “Squeeki Tiki” employs what sounds like a dog’s chew-toy for the titular squeaking effect. It’s practically unlistenable, gimmicky to the extreme, but, you know, props for trying. “Copycat” is also a moment of experimentalism, although it’s hard to tell if the way the instruments all sound just off-beat with each other is intended to unsettle the listener’s ear or is just a side effect of sloppy playing. A brave move, maybe, but it doesn't make a great song.

Here’s the bottom line: this is the sort of record you should give to your little sister. That sounds condescending, maybe, but think about it: The Coathangers are a band that started as a joke between friends in Atlanta -- the fact that they’ve maintained some longevity is more or less a fluke. They’re a great, fun, funny introduction to female-fronted garage punk. If you want to get your kid sister listening to punk, here’s your training wheels. Listen to “Perfume” -- there’s your gateway. You can give her the Muffs later.






A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.


Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.


PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.


'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.


Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.


Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.


Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.


The Flaming Lips Reimagine Tom Petty's Life in Oklahoma on 'American Head'

The Flaming Lips' American Head is a trip, a journey to the past that one doesn't want to return to but never wants to forget.


Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.


Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.


Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" Is an Ode for Unity in Troubling Times (premiere)

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" is a gentle, prayerful tune that depicts the heart of their upcoming album, Crucible.


'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.


Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.


Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.


Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.


The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.