The Coffin Daggers' self-titled LP was a mainstay on Storm Surge of Reverb back in the WESU days. It struck a really great balance between loud, thundering power and traditional surf sensibilities. As I've suggested about The Madeira's first record, it would be very difficult for them to ever dethrone that effort due to my impenetrable personal bias. With that bias, however, comes the fact that I'll be counting down the days whenver the next Coffin Daggers release comes by.
To some extent, I'm still counting down those days. Rather than ordering directly from the band, I preordered from Amazon for some reason and the 12" vinyl copy hasn't come in yet. Though they've graciously provided me with a digital copy in the meantime, there's a reason for me to wait: The Coffin Daggers always put a lot of attention into the sound production of their records, often recording to analog tape rather than digital masters. Though I'm not sure if that's the case this time (that process is pretty expensive so if not I understand), that attention to sonic detail is one of the things that drew me to them in the first place, and they've never let me down in that respect. These digital files are crystal clear and have a lot of oomph out of my computer speakers, enough that I can't wait for the full experience on my turntable.
Jeez, I'm talking about the sound engineering process before the music itself. I feel like an audiphile snob. Here's the verdict: it's awesome. "Wake Up Screaming" and "Head On" are great examples of the supercharged, extra-loud, wide-open sound that has been at their core. I do feel like it's worth mentioning guitarist Viktor Dominicis' punk heritage as a member of Reagan Youth and Nausea, but to belabor a connection to punk royalty cheapens the ~15 years of being a killer surf group.
This is a fun record, moreso than I remember them ever being. The opening/title track starts with a circus-style organ that immediately makes you look at the bonheaded cover art and think "OK, so we're really doing this". "The Spy" features lighthearted-female "doo-ooh"'s over menacing guitars. Even the killer cover of The Cherokee's "Uprising" features all of the today-tasteless Indian calls of the 1960's version (had some shower thoughts about cultural appropriation in first-wave surf -- liberal arts college education in action). It's not a ridiculous or even silly record by any extent -- definitely not a departure from the Coffin Daggers we know and love -- it's just having more fun. Even the aforementioned "Wake Up Screaming" has one of the most infectiously hip-shaking rhythms I've heard in a Dick Dale-styled crash-n-thrasher.
To some extent this jumbo-sized review is the result of being jet-lagged and waking up at 4am, but it's also because this record delivered. The Coffin Daggers still rule. I don't have any tracks to stream on this, but you can order it from Cleopatra records on CD or Vinyl and on iTunes.