The Coke Dares are a long running and now long distance power trio whose main claim to fame was that Jason Molina tapped them out to play on his raw and raucous Magnolia Electric Company LP. Their own music however is a tight and taut blend of the Minutemen, Wire and with a bit of Sparks and prog rock chucked into the equation.
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To Jason Molina they were known as the Magnolia Electric Co; to themselves, they were and are the Coke Dares, the same band with an entirely different sound. Molina used them to create terrestrial, earth-shattering Americana, and while you can see the weight and the crunch the band used for his twang songs here, their sound couldn’t be further from his truth: punk vignettes broken by their own sense of humour and well-versed knowledge of trad, they make an all-over the place, short burst filibuster album in service to Minutemen and the more ironic moments from Mothers of Invention. It’s a trip.
Those of you who love records that literally go wherever they please and imitate each hallmark perfectly will enjoy ‘Fake Lake’, which goes from sick riffing on “You Say a Lot” to campfire singalong country on “Editor” -- a song which sounds like it has five more verses attached to it but stops after one plus chorus. These songs all leave before they sound like they’re done, but their short ‘n’ sweet ideology is appreciated; these grind-core song lengths that leave the rest up to the listener’s imagination.
Spoiler alert: the track titles will lie to you. I mean “Please Say Fuck” is an absolutely lovely, easy-breezy, picnic-with-my-baby folk song worthy of a quick Yo La Tengo ditty, even if its content is all about how the best swearword to say is the one I’m not allowed to repeat in my review. They coo on this song. They coo on it. With songs like “Ctrl Alt Del” doing the Tony Molina shred ‘n’ hook punk music well, it almost feels like the Coke Dares have reached the perfect musical equilibrium: their music is funny, and it means to tell a joke, but never at the expense of immensely catchy and forever moreish pop songs.
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- Fake Lake by The Coke Dares
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