Suck My Shirt is the The Coathangers’ fourth full-length. The title refers to an incident involving the salvaging of spilled tequila during the recording session for the album.
While the title implies that little has changed with regards to the band’s celebratory mission statement, even just a cursory listen of their latest album demonstrates that there have indeed been changes in The Coathangers’ camp.
First off, the quartet was reduced to a trio for the latest record, with keyboardist Bebe Coathanger (Candice Jones) stepping down from her duties. But the absence of keyboards isn’t nearly as noticeable of a difference as the band’s refined songwriting approach. Refinement is an attribute we expect to see in any group that has a career spanning more than a couple of years, but the extent to which The Coathangers have honed their trade with each successive album dwarfs most bands’ maturation.
This isn’t to say that The Coathangers have polished their sound; the group once again worked with Ed Rawls and Justin McNeight and The Living Room to attain the same production values of their Larceny & Old Lace album and their recent slew of split 7”s. Rather, the refinement can be heard in the quality of the songs themselves.
The band retains the alluring spontaneity and happy accidents of their early releases, the trio’s current work sounds far more deliberate and locked-in than anything they’ve done in the past.
“Ultimately, every album is a snapshot of who we were at the time,” says Crook Kid. And while that might mean that The Coathangers in 2014 don’t feel compelled to chronicle the youthful piss and vinegar that yielded the Teenage Jesus & The Jerks-esque spasms of their debut album, it’s exciting to hear the output of the band as they explore the range of their temperaments with a broader musical palette at their disposal. Suck My Shirt will be available on CD, September 23rd 2014 via Smack Face Records