REVIEW: The Coathangers “Suck My Shirt”/Brewdog Punk IPA

This week’s review is from a band after my own heart, an all-girl punk band from Atlanta called the Coathangers.

THE RECORD: The Coathangers Suck My Shirt Suicide Squeeze 2014

Back in my college days, I spent a lot of time in the studio at the radio station, as well as researching and writing my thesis about the role of women in the music industry. I was fascinated by the riot grrl movement of the 90s because I was a little too young to witness it while it was going on. I find The Coathangers to be reminiscent of Bikini Kill, but a bit more polished, from both a recording standpoint as well as their vocal harmonies and catchy songwriting.

Formerly a quartet, The Coathangers are now down a keyboard player and play as a trio. I’ve heard some of their previous material, but this new record is definitely not missing anything or overcompensating for one less instrument.

I love the basslines. They move effortlessly between having a surf rock vibe, like on “Shut Up”, or slow, sludgy rock on “Love Em And Leave Em”. The gravelly, husky lead vocals of Rusty Coathanger (real name Stephanie Luke) give these songs a rough, personal sensibility.

I don’t really hear a lot of bands that sound like this locally; maybe I am just looking in the wrong places. To be honest, I don’t know of that many all-female rock and roll bands in my area, which is a damn shame in my opinion. But regardless, the Coathangers rock. And if having a name that references a backdoor abortion technique isn’t enough to tell you that the band has a sense of humor, their latest video featuring Mastodon in drag should. The song, called “Follow Me” is the first track on the new record, and really kicks off the album in high gear. Check out the vidoe below.

THE BREW: Brewdog Punk IPA- Scotland

I am so glad to be seeing Brewdog offerings at more bars around me. It could be due to their show of the same name on the Esquire channel, but regardless, I’m happy to see their beers at bars and not have to pay a crazy amount for these imports.

It’s got one of my favorite malts, Maris Otter (I would name one of my kids Maris Otter, and I’m not kidding). It also has the funky New Zealand hop Nelson Sauvin, which I don’t see that often, but definitely explains the tropical, grapefruity notes that are similar to that of a Sauvignon Blanc. The best part is for all these flavors, it’s still only 5.6% ABV. It’s totally drinkable, with some traits similar to a citrus-forward west coast IPA, but a taste all it’s own. I love the color- it’s almost a peach-orange. Definitely not a beer to sit on, and best consumed when it’s super fresh (not always possible for an import). I haven’t had it on draft but I hope to see it around on tap soon!

THE PAIRING: It was bound to happen for me to pair a punk rock record with the Punk IPA, one of my favorite beers. It goes down easy, but there’s still substance and flavor to it. and it’s a well-made IPA. Kind of like the Coathangers- they definitely know how to party hard, but their latest record is much more than a punk rock basement recording. Similar to the way I want to see more of Brewdog’s beers in bars, I definitely want to see more female rock bands around the local rock scene!