It’s a tale told so many times we might be numb to its magic, but when The Coathangers played their first show back in 2006 at a small house party in Atlanta, the band’s aspirations were little more than a one-off excuse for a few friends to hang out and make some noise. Yet the clamorous racket of that first show was addictive, both for the newly recruited musicians navigating unfamiliar instruments and for the local punks who witnessed the band’s divine birth. Other parties were quickly put on the calendar. Then a few club shows. Then came the records.
The Coathangers’ eponymous 2007 album was a rowdy, ramshackle, and infectious debut. The album’s intoxicating revelry gained traction outside of Georgia, eventually leading to a record deal with Seattle’s Suicide Squeeze Records and the band’s first forays into national touring. Subsequent studio albums Scramble (2009), Larceny & Old Lace (2011), Suck My Shirt (2014), and Nosebleed Weekend (2016) found the band expanding their sound to include elements of golden oldies rock n’ roll, Americana, and Joan Jett badassery, while their relentless touring schedule made their already jubilant live shows transcend into a sweaty, ecstatic, and damn near spiritual events. Over the course of thirteen years, the band hit many milestones—touring in Europe, Japan, Australia, and Mexico, sharing the stage with artists like Minus the Bear, Refused, Janelle Monae, and The Black Lips, appearing multiple times on Last Call with Carson Daly, receiving accolades from luminaries like Kim Gordon, and landing a spot on the Billboard charts with Nosebleed Weekend.
Few bands make it out of the basement and even fewer survive more than a couple of years. The ability of The Coathangers to thrive in their thirteenth year of operation with original members Julia Kugel (guitar/vocals), Meredith Franco (bass/vocals), and Stephanie Luke (drums/vocals) is a testament to both their music and the genuine spirit of camaraderie that drives it. “Our combined strength is much more powerful than our individual powers, which is true of us as a band and further to us as a community and society,” Kugel says. “We’re choosing to be positive, proactive, and vocal about our stories and life experiences, giving up the devil we know. We’re going to uncharted places—looking for truthful existence, one not based on fear of the unknown but one that occurs when you have an open heart to was is real.” It took an extended break in 2018 for the trio to reflect on their accomplishments and regroup with a fresh perspective. This newly restored unity is immediately evident on their latest album The Devil You Know. As a statement on moving forward and abandoning the baggage of the past, The Devil You Know succeeds in capturing the arduous road to maturity while striking a perfect balance between the fiery spirit of their youth and the psychic creative interplay of a musical bond that has held The Coathangers together for over a decade.
PAM GARBER at LEG UP! MANAGEMENT
STEVEN HIMMELFARB at THE FELDMAN-AGENCY
NICK HOLROYD at PRIMARY TALENT
DAVID DICKENSON at SUICIDE SQUEEZE RECORDS