Imagine the Ramones, add a little bit of the earliest gothabilly put forth by 45 Grave, and throw in just a hint of the Misfits to come forth with â€œFrankensteinâ€, The Coffin Lidsâ€™ first output on â€œâ€™Round Midmightâ€. The Lids have a minor hiccup in the repetition that drags down â€œTeenage Shakedownâ€; the guitar solo on the track is almost long enough to erase all memory of this rut. Place in a little nod to the Talking Headsâ€™ â€œPsycho Killerâ€ and the Lids have recovered nicely from the beginning of the track.
While the element of repletion can be used to create a cohesion between a bandâ€™s track, The Coffin Lids continually push the envelope in coming back to the same well numerous times in each of the tracks on â€œâ€™Round Midnightâ€. The songs have a very solid sound, but the repletion more often than not acts like a drill, irritating instead of titillating. The minor shift during â€œWalk A Mile In My Shoesâ€ brings The Coffin Lids into the camp of â€œLetâ€™s Lynch The Landlordâ€-era Dead Kennedys. The premise that The Coffin Lids operate on â€“ a psychedelic version of punk that also ties together rockabilly â€“ is great in theory but lacks something in practice. Sure, there are ample amounts of solos and catchy vocals, but the aforementioned over-repetition and lack of thematic expansion really causes this disc to suffer, even in its earliest stages. A strength to this album is the extreme shortness of most of the tracks here; songs go quickly if a listen canâ€™t find any reason to listen, while longer tracks (like â€œIâ€™m Going To Have My Wayâ€) succeed and indeed even thrive in their more cushy environments.
To be honest, it almost feels like The Coffin Lids get stronger with each subsequent tracks; â€œActionâ€ brings the entire band to weigh in on whether the track succeeds and fails. With the inclusion of a more active type of bass line throughout, â€œActionâ€ comes through not as an exercise in repetition but rather a fresh body that kicks throughout. â€œâ€™Round Midnightâ€ is an album that is created by a set of humans, and this means that not every track is created equal. The style of â€œKick Out Of Youâ€ tends to drag on instead of evoke emotional impact, but tracks like â€œShakeâ€ tend to operate on some primeval, dance level of the human psyche that operates even if the track is not the epitome of originality.
Top Tracks: Shake, Walk a Mile In My Shoes
The Coffin Lids â€“ â€˜Round Midnight / 2005 Bomp! / 14 Tracks / http://www.coffinlids.com / http://www.bomp.com / Reviewed 08 December 2005