By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
Peanut Butter and Jelly Live at the Ginger Minge
For those of you who buy your tighty-whities slightly used from St. Vincent de Paul, or who opt for canned Milwaukee's Beast at the plywood bar, it's crucial to stretch your dollar--and your black pennies and green nickels, too. So buyer beware: The best deal on Coachwhips may be the $6.50 you can plunk down for Narnack Records' Fist First sampler from late 2004, as it contains the two longest, meatiest cuts from the band's newest album. Set alongside labelmates the Fall and Guitar Wolf, the cheap screeches and feral flagellations of "I Made a Bomb" and "Your Party Will Be a Success" blast out all comers.
Still, at an epic 21 minutes (last year's Bangers vs. Fuckers topped out at 19), Ginger Minge (a reference to a redhead's nether regions) is a bargain, if not really "live." A neo-garage band built on in-the-red signals and bludgeoning bashes in lieu of song, Coachwhips sound as if they amplify their sound with subway announcement speakers and White Castle drive-thru microphones. Guitarist/howler John Dwyer makes mealy-mouthed gents like Bob Log III or Jon Spencer circa Pussy Galore into the models of enunciation. Without the lyric sheet, you'd find it impossible to glean lizard-mind lines like "I'm a boy, you're a girl, use your imagination" (from "PB+J"). No matter, because the trio out-squalls a passing train on that track, and Val-Tronic's organ out-chirps the birdies on "Body and Brains."
Dressing against nature in tweed jackets, knee socks, and masks, the Bay Area band's secret weapon lies not in John Dwyer, whose past pedigree includes Pink and Brown, Ziegenbock Kopf, and roots in Providence's noise scene, but in drummer Matt Hartman, whose tubs sound like oil drums falling off tractor trailers. The thwack of "I Made a Bomb" is wild like the Taliban, pushing an overmodulated thud that rivals Pink Floyd's "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk" or the "Be My Baby" beat-bite on the Igster's "Lust for Life." Fortune-cookie closer "Your Party Will Be a Success" gets politely pulverized by both pink noises and brown notes--a tidy finale to this gloppy mess of Jiffy 'n' Smuckers, and, uh...curlies.