The Coffin Daggers – S/T

The Coffin Daggers’ self-titled debut begins with an explosion of in-your-face surf guitar rock dubbed “Psychonaut” and doesn’t let up one ounce over the next 14 tracks. With wailing guitars, thunderous bass and drums, and the spookiest electric piano/organ this side of the Munsters, this New York band takes you on a little ride right back to the 60s. This album is an instrumental mix of original songs peppered with a few covers. It’s clear the four-piece group takes a lot of cues from the masters that have come before and it would be impossible not to make a comparison to Dick Dale. Still, the Coffin Daggers are keeping the surf-rock torch lit with their own interpretations – and from the sounds of it are doing a mighty fine job at it.
While some instrumental albums tend to get repetitive and flat somewhere along the lines, you’ll find enough tempo changes to keep you hooked. The Coffin Daggers work extremely well together and their sound is electrifying, but it’s the tracks that give a little more focus to the organ, like “Forgotten Prisoner” and “Avenue X” that really catch my attention. The organ really gives these songs that spooky, horror movie feel that sets them apart in my mind. However, I’d be remiss to say that the purely guitar-driven tracks weren’t outright smoking as well. Either way, both styles are perfect for parties or just as driving music while you cruise a dark highway.
I’m not quite sure how a band like the Coffin Daggers emerged out of New York, but they approach surf rock with intense passion and infuse it with energy I haven’t come across in quite awhile. Fans of surf rock should already know about this band, but if you don’t you should boogie right out and pick this up. The Coffin Daggers’ debut is also solid enough that even if you haven’t given surf rock a try in ages it’s worth checking out. Many people don’t seem to enjoy purely instrumental music, but this album has enough twists and turns that it could keep almost anyone’s attention.