As a punk band, The Coolies know it is probably best to not make too many apocalyptic claims about the state of the genre. So on their latest EP, for once, punk is not dead, “Punk is Bread”. The eponymous track is proof of this, a heavy song that grinds along without rest, establishing a melancholy mood. The rest of the songs are a collection of equally sludgy punk rock, often digressing into moments of lighter pop tone. As a result the album lands somewhere between fuzzy punk and slow, pop shoegaze.
Heavy bass lines fill the background, thudding with ominous intensity. The drums crash along in every song, uninhibited and unfiltered by any special effects. This recording is of lo-fi quality, but is nonetheless dense. Layers of sound are punctured only by the occasional guitar, which emerges clearly through the murk. And then there are the experimental noise-rock interludes; shorter sound bites made up of vocal shrieks and sporadic and formless drum banging. These moments are interspersed throughout, creating a more chaotic mood overall. The switch between the song songs and these small anti-songs further play with genre expectations, adding another mysterious layer to the band’s sound. The noises from these interludes are crafted from samples, and are woven throughout, creating an interesting album length thread .
The Coolies export their tunes all the way from New Zealand via Epic Sweep Records.