The Dead Coats
Nice (Dead Coats Records)
Reviewed by Tim Stegall, Fri., June 14, 2019
Austin's ascending DIY act references grunge, garage, noise, and post-punk over old-school pogo rock and hardcore's mosh pit hyper-locomotion, but they rarely slight the "punk" part of the equation. A 2-year-old partnership between Baltimore transplants Lauren Warner (vocals) and Joshua Gage (guitar) and Austin natives Joe Osteen II (bass) and Guy Davis aka Dr. Buns (drummer), the Dead Coats epitomize this dynamic. Nice is their second full-length in less than a year. Across ravers like the title track, "Cat Song," and "Coke on the Water," they welcome us into their living rooms, show us their messes, then invite us to read their journals – entries screaming of desperate lives, leavened with moments of joy or silliness. And as the guitars grind and scrape atop the rhythm section's battering, Warner unleashes a howl, excoriating in its fury, alternated with a bluesy wail. Her rage is total, but there's fear and vulnerability in her 1,000-yard stare. This music connects deeply and seduces; then it shoves you away – hard. Supremely compelling.