Back To Soft

Coke Weed

Independent release, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


It’s somewhat of a misnomer here that Coke Weed's third album in three years, Back To Soft, is actually a step into louder territory for the Maine turned NYC based quintet. Whereas their previous work put them into a healthy folk rock category, this time they plunge headfirst into a more muscular plugged in sound. Of course, some things are still constant with the band. They still use dual gender lead vocals and warm, inviting atmospheres anchored by a hypnotic rhythm section to mesmerize the listener. And of course they still use plenty of effects, distortion, and nods to '70s rock. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Sunseekers” starts off and is a perfectly titled laidback post-grunge tune with tambourines shaking and a very apparent Lou Reed influence. From there, the tracks all find a unique identity, rarely following similar trajectories. “Maryanne” is where their psyche-rock is most potent and would make Frank Black proud. “Manchester” sounds Nashville influenced and veers into nearly into country. “Blue Flag” injects some bluesy guitars and is one of the standouts here, as is “Anklet,” a vintage rock gem with lots of interesting guitar lines. “Buckets” is a darker, fuller tune that will have you imagining you're surrounded by a plume of smoke and is one of the loudest moments here. The calmest tune of the bunch is the ballad like "Poison," which burns slow in a very hypnotic fashion.

Nina Donghia's unique voice that has the ability to soar, haunt, and/or twang suits this gentle brand of retro rock perfectly, and the fuzzy, shoegazy, and lo-fi music will remind you of all the things you fell in love with when you first heard The Velvet Underground, The Jesus And Mary Chain, and The Rolling Stones. This is their third album in just as many years; let's hope Coke Weed can keep this pace up, because the quality of their output is impressive.

Rating: A-

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