(Photo: Evolve Records)
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With that out of the way, itʻs time to transition into my favorite album of the week. Sam Coffey and The Iron Lungs played a show at The Pinhook last month. Though it was a smaller show than Iʻve seen in a while, they knew just how to entertain the crowd and make an intimate show the best kind worth seeing. I had to know how this would translate on a record, and I found out when I received my copy from the bandʻs label.
It isnʻt unusual for a band or musician to sound dramatically different on a record than they would live; the opportunity creeping at the surface for major adjustments to be made can be tempting. This band does no such thing.
In “Nashville”, one of the bandʻs most energetic songs, I immediately hear powerful guitar riffs and unwavering vocals. Listening to the song puts me back a month where Iʻm standing in front of the stage, watching them twitch and shout like overzealous evangelicals.
In “Sick Of Love”, the vocals are at the forefront of the track as Sam Coffey howls like a ghoul exorcising the remnants of a bad breakup from the depths of his soul. The song brings up a mountain of sounds, beginning slowly and building up like a volcano that is at the verge of release. As the rest of the band begins to chime in, the track quickly evolves into an uncontrollable magnification of rage. Itʻs a sight to behold, but the sounds bring a beauty to it that can be appreciated just as much from afar.
Though many of the songs are less than three minutes long, it feels like a record that goes on forever in the best possible way. The energy emitted is so boundless that it can be difficult at times to find out where one song ends and another begins. The band is a hearty bunch, and they donʻt struggle to express that in any of the tracks on this album. It would be easy for the band to lull around the halfway mark, throw in a ballad for good measure, and end with a high energy track to tie it up nicely. Instead, each track is a full flavored punch to the gut. The typical sagging middle that accompanies many punk albums is non-existent here, and it will be interesting to see how they evolve on future records.
In sum, this album is excellent for new and old punk fans alike. Their sound can easily be appreciated by both parties, as it lacks any of the typical pop sounds familiar to those who have seen how MTV has changed the face of punk in the last decade.
Sam Coffey and The Iron Lungs is currently on tour and is worth the five dollars, to quote the bandʻs Facebook profile. To view their show listings, you can visit their Facebook page, which also includes music samples and typical band musings. Their self-titled album is available now via BandCamp and iTunes.