Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Coinslot-Smile, Music Is Dead EP

January 1, 2006

coinslotBand Name: Coinslot
Album Name: Smile, Music Is DeadEP
Best Element: Extremely well-honed sound.
Genre: Ska-loving Alt-rock
Website: www.coinslotband.com
Label Name: Silex Entertainment (www.silexent.com)
Band E-mail: coinslotband@yahoo.com

I have to hand it to Coinslot- they have an extremely unique sound. They have effectively fused together ska guitars, funk/ska basslines, punk drumming, and an attitude-filled female vocalist on their latest EP Smile, Music is Dead. Their songs are dance-inspiring singalongs (occasionally screamalongs) that are always just a little bit left of center. There’s no denying their talent- but how it’s presented takes a lot of getting used to.

For example, “The Adventures of Nermal Jane” starts out with a ska-rific high-hat beat, upstroke ska strumming, and a funky bass line before transforming into a surf-punk inspired group sing-a-long, complete with “oy!” They then go back to the original sound to introduce the female vocalist who barks out vocals over the ska beat. The song transforms into a surf-punk song again for the chorus- later there’s a hand-clap breakdown, a Bobby Brown reference, male spoken word vocals, ambiguously gay references and more. The songs are all like this- hitting all over the map from the droning-to-stomping “Whatever the F*** I want” to intentionally absurd ska-punk “Peanuts and Car Exhaust” to the Red Hot Chili Peppers-influenced tracks “Monstrosity” and “Estrogenocide.”

These last two tracks are my favorites, as they take the inherent talent in this band and put it to good use. The first four tracks of this EP are fun, no doubt, but they have very limited replay value if you’re not in just a killer upbeat mood. “Estrogenocide” on the other hand, has ebb and flow, artistic touches, and great performances from every member in the band. From the punctuating, rapid-fire drums to the groove-laden bass to the boundary-pushing guitar sound (as opposed to the boundaries imposed on himself the rest of the EP) to the pointed, meaningful vocals, the darkest, most interesting track on the album makes me want to repeat it.

Coinslot knows what it’s doing. They’ve refined a very unique sound, and it’s ready to be unleashed upon the world. It’s up to you to decide whether you like it or not, but you can’t deny that Smile, Music is Dead is really, really good.

-Stephen Carradini

independentclauses@hotmail.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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