Dusty suits and half a deck of cards are all you really need, as long as it’s the good half. Take these tools and step on into the first physical full-length from Coffin Salesman. Nicrophorus Americanus is the title for this gunfight, and it sets up one Hell of a time. Lead by Aria Rad as the ringmaster/primary songwriter, Coffin Salesman paint the desert picture of the old west if it rained there all the time, but refused to grow green. This is a wild album and not recommended for those who are sensitive to serious bummer tracks. Naw, I’m just fucking with you. It’s a perfect album for those who are sensitive to serious bummer tracks. Because when it’s high, it’s high as anything you’ve ever seen and then some. But when it’s low, it’s a low that’s all too familiar and a little too comfortable. Prove me wrong.
Twelve tracks make up the album and the lyric book that comes with the record is like a small magazine. It’s beautiful and upsetting all at once. If that’s your jam, then I highly recommend this record. Each song has the thoughtfulness and orchestration that raises the album past the flippant arrogance of “Johnny-Try-Too-Hards”; quite the opposite, really. There’s a simplicity that comes with each track that is as infectious as it is alluring. The simplicity is then tripled or quintupled by the band in a layering of sounds so complimentary that the simple bits begin to move as a singular, more complicated animal. This animal wants to die and get revenge at the same time. The futility of attempt and the disappointment of result are reoccurring themes on the album. Sometimes you can do everything correctly and still lose. I think Picard said that.
I really can’t say enough good things about this album. If you’re familiar with Coffin Salesman and the work that they do, then this should come as no surprise. If this is your first time, it won’t be gentle. It won’t be kind. It will buy you a drink, but then duck out when it’s time to pay. This is an album for broken people with a sense of humor. No well-adjusted dweebs allowed. Sell your crystals and your shitty sandals and buy the fucking record.
Coffin Salesman are (this time around)
Ken Bousquet-Drums and Percussion
Chandler Cross-Backup Vocals
Kirk Lau-Piano, Synth, Organ
Aria Rad-Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Ethan Rubin-Fiddle and Violin
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Nicholas Panagakos is a writer based out of Cambridge, MA. He has published one book of poems and illustrations titled Laughter You See and plays in bands regularly. Soon to open a home for adult orphans. Buy him a drink.
Anti-Cop. Anti-ICE. Pro-Union.