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La Leggenda Di Chong Li
The Coffin Daggers
© 2016 Cleopatra Records
I’m am giddy to no end listening to a fully instrumental Surf album by a band that has Viktor Venom (of Reagan Youth and Nausea) on lead guitar. Why wouldn’t I be? The idea that a vestige of 80’s East coast hardcore punk can transmute into some of the best “dark” surf music that I’ve heard in some time is, to say the least, incredible.
The one-sheet lets me know that all the tracks were recorded on 16-track 2” analog. How sweet is that? I kinda wish I would have had the album to review instead of the CD. If the digital version sounds this good, I can only imagine the vinyl is phenomonal!
Aggravatin’ Rhythms abely drops a lush soundscape of 14 tracks of riff-laden surf rock, the likes of which are rarely heard in this day and age. It’s strikingly reminiscent of foundational work from artists such as Link Wray and legendary guitarist Dick Dale. A more modern surf sensibility is certainly present as well and I can’t help but draw comparisons to by Man or Astro-man and Phantom Surfers.
I was listening to this album the other night and a description kept bubbling to the surface as I listened to track four, The Sinister Urge, “boozy apreggiated dive bombs are reverberating around the interior of my car only to launch into Gilmour-esqe soulful leads. Brilliant!” Sure it lacks some context in the middle of this, but I assure you that when you arrive upon said track, you’ll totally understand.
I’m not sure that I’ve done a write-up for an instrumental release in the past. This very well may be a first for me. So without knowing fully where to go with this, I’m going to go suggest that Aggravatin’ Rhythms by the Coffin Daggers is one of the finest surf albums I’ve heard to date. Seriously this album rocks. Get some!
We’re based out of Brooklyn and formed Slim Wray in 2012 – but prior to that, Howzr and Chris have been playing around the NYC scene in punk/grunge band, “Ten Pound Strike.” Brian later joined after he and Chris met while some session work at the Vault Studios in Hoboken. We also recorded our debut album “Sack Lunch” at the Vault with producer, Dan McLoughlin.
Who are you and who does what in the band?
I, Chris, I Drummer
I, Howzr, I Singer and Guitarer
I, Brian, I Bass
How would you best describe the sound?
A 1960’s high school dance that starts with guys on one side of the gym and girls on the other side. Very sweet and innocent. But then some smart-ass spikes the punch with grain alcohol, creating “Jungle Juice” for the first time ever. Pandemonium ensues. The band starts playing backwards revealing satanic verse, then the kids start dancing crazy like that scene from Matrix 3, a motor cycle gang crashes the party and does wheelies on the basketball court, that kid from Science Class sees a bra for the first time, likes it, paratroopers repel from the ceiling, Ms. Kalinsky’s face melts revealing she is –in fact- ZAAR –the alien explorer from the planet Klanduu on a 5000-year mission to observe Human mating rituals, a bucket of blood is dumped on the prom queen. She retaliates with fire made from her mind. Burns the place down. Cats and dogs living together. You know, mass hysteria.
Dream rock moment (real or not)?
I don’t know if you heard, but a few weeks ago, Dave Grohl fell off stage and unfortunately broke his leg. But, so great was his commitment to rock, that he got right back up there with a makeshift cast and finished the set. It was an epic day. One day, I hope to break my leg on stage, and have Dave Grohl pick me and hold me in his arms as I finish playing the set. Then I know that I can retire on top.
Still got day jobs?
You know, everyone in bands has day jobs these days. Even the big stars you wouldn’t expect, like for instance, The Edge from U2. Seriously. Yeah, true story: our tour van pulled up to a Hardees drive-thru somewhere – West Lafayette, Indiana, I think. And there, working the window was The Edge from U2! I’m like, “dude, what the hell? Why aren’t you on tour right now?” And he’s like, “yeah, man, we want to but you know, we gotta save some money right now for gas and tolls.” Its crazy. I mean, if even The Edge has to save-up for tour gas money…
But we got it all figured out. It’s our startup called chikknn. It’s this app on your phone that, no matter where you are, will locate the nearest fried chicken joint. If there is somebody else in the same vicinity that has the app, it will tell you they also like fried chicken. We’re seeking outside investments. So if you know anyone…
Howzr – That I quit my high school band metal band, Meatmuffin. We were once the top house party draw in Butler, IN, and top slinger of Sabbath riffs east of the Mississippi. It was a simpler time.
Chris – That I never reached-in and petted that tiger at the Bronx zoo -even though the sign said “don’t feed the tigers.” It would be easier to play drums with 5 fingers instead of 2.
Listen to “Take It or Leave It” HERE.