The Coathangers’ self-titled debut offers a lot of enjoyably obnoxious punk vocals, some cute melodies, and a few moments of inspired experimentation. It’s easy to enjoy because so much enthusiasm obviously went into its creation. Most of these songs are sloppy and insolent, qualities this band succeeds in exploiting to great effect. Even so, the album becomes grating upon repeated close listening. “Nestle in My Boobies” shows off great interplay between aggressively driving drumbeats and slippery bass playing, and the whole thing is held together by clever little keyboard licks, but, really, how many times do you need to hear someone chanting “Nestle in my boobies/ It’s so comfortable”?
The Coathangers are at their best when using devices they have to reach for. “Don’t Touch My Shit” is a punk rant accompanied by the sound of ringing telephones, which propels it to surprisingly intense levels of frenzy and desperation. The sad, pretty pop song “Bloody Shirt” is made poignant by gorgeous backing vocals. None of this resourcefulness, however, comes off as the least bit contrived, because this is the sound of musicians enjoying what comes naturally to them and feeling their way toward some things that don’t.