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Coachwhips - Get Yer Body Next Ta Mine

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Artist: Coachwhips

Album: Get Yer Body Next Ta Mine

Label: Narnack

Review date: Jun. 23, 2003

Whip It Good

Considering the troublingly bland state of the modern rock underground, it’s sometimes tempting to give up on rock altogether. Actually, it’s not fair to single out the subterranean sounds – hackneyed, uninspired and tepid music infects a number of rock pigeonholes. While major rags are proclaiming “rock is back,” these bands, lifted to heavens of popular culture by mainstream rock-crits, only seem to turn rock’s dead corpse over in its coffin.

So what else is there to do? Well, give up, for one – listen backwards, maybe some ol’ bop records, or primitive rock 45’s. That’s what a few of the good and/or daring bands of said underground have started to do, embracing the ideals set into motion by hippies-weirdo-freaks several generations ago. From Fort Thunder’s practice/performance/art commune to NNCK's dance of demons in the park, to Erase Errata’s trout mask replica, some artists are really letting their freak flags fly.

For San Francisco’s Coachwhips – whose musical bloodline includes Fort Thunder jokers Pink and Brown — the leap backwards stretches further than Wavy Gravy’s waistline. Squeezing 14 songs into 28 minutes, Get Yer Body Next Ta Mine is the salute to Bo Diddley, The Yardbirds, Back From The Grave, underage drinking, and other adolescent mischief that Pussy Galore and Sympathy For the Record Industry tried (and predominantly failed) to create. So how did the Coachwhips – three kids armed with only a guitar, a drum kit, a keyboard and a green bullet microphone – do it? They appreciate history and are earnest about their influences. Forget trying to erase footprints – the Coachwhips highlight them with a rusty Mag-Lite, and then make sure to point out the blood, puke and spunk in between. Not since Black Flag have three chords and the truth sounded so fun, reckless, juvenile and right. “Hey Stiffie” sounds like Ray Davies had he grown up in Lynchburg, Tennessee during the FDR administration, while the title track’s libido-driven refrain makes an overt nod to the genre’s seedy foundations.

For 28 minutes, the trek backwards is worthwhile, and there’s no accompanying cringes of irony. On Get Yer Body Next Ta Mine, Coachwhips deliver quite the opposite: your bedsprings will thank you for the workout, and your liver will never talk back to you again.

By Stephen Sowley

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