For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in the intensity and rawness that surrounds the genre of punk rock and hardcore punk. I grew up in the punk rock lifestyle due to family members being prominent figures in the Tucson scene. At 14 years old my loved ones introduced me to bands such as The Adolescents, Bad Brains, Black Flag and other loud, politically/emotionally charged bands of the Reagan era. Coming from a background of eccentric individuals, this is where I want to be until the day I fall of the face of the Earth.

The Coltranes Man with the Hat

After years of discovering bands through zines, blogs and record labels, I noticed that the scene slowly growing ever so stale. My jaded attitude grew towards punk rock in general. Every band began to sound like the last three bands that dissolved into nothingness. I became bored with the one thing that helped me through so many years — until one fateful night at 2:30 a.m.

I’m a night owl, so I’m always up at the wee hours of the morning. This particular night I was doing what I normally do, drinking excessive amounts of beer and looking for new and exciting acts in the world of underground music. I stumbled across an article of a band dubbed The Coltranes. It was accidental and I wasn’t expecting much. After reading the article and scoffing at how “forward-thinking” this band was, I found a YouTube video of one of their live performances. This is when everything started to change.

I took another sip of beer and clicked play on the video. From the first riff, I knew I was in for a treat. The rawness is something out of this world. It puts a cat in a bag, shakes it at full throttle and then throws it into a crowd of unsuspecting concert-goers. (Metaphorically, of course because cats deserve respectful treatment.) I was floored and obsessed. After watching the video and with much drunken excitement, I looked into their discography to capture a glimpse of their studio work.

The first album I indulged in was Man With the Hat. The album art (embedded above) intrigued me with its minimalism and surrealism. In a way, the album art describes the entire album in a whole. The song titles alone describe the atmosphere of the album, with titles The Joy of Life, Flesh Design and Fester. I instantly got good vibes from it.

The album plays like a tribute to the minds of H.P. Lovecraft, Thomas Ligotti, David Cronenberg and J.G. Ballard. Every song depicts some sort of depravity and/or a sign of mental neurosis. Consider lyrics from this stanza in The Joy of Life:

Fiends and urchins know relic lies,
to travel to the birthplace of my own demise.
An ancient thunder cast down through time.
I finally see the object of my own desire.

I haven’t been this excited for a band in a long time. Anyone looking for invigorating music needs to give Man with the Hat by The Coltranes a listen. It’ll destroy you in the most pleasurable way possible.

* Bookmans is the place in Arizona for browsing music, but we cannot guarantee stock. If you would like to pick up a CD of The Coltranes, give your nearest Bookmans a call.