When I first saw the album artwork for New York's Modern Trigger's debut release Coffee Coffee Anarchy! I instantly assumed that they would be a bit of a gruff punk, Fest style band. Turns out I was quite wrong; this is one of the most surprising releases of the year.
Coffee Coffee Anarchy opens with a song called Only Poseurs Die. I am shocked from the outset - this is a folk song! Someone called Colin is very guilty of judging a book by their cover. Vocally, I am straight away reminded of Andrew Jackson Jihad's Sean Bonnette sounding like a poppy Laura Jane Grace. The track is full of a lot of passion and grit but also quite catchy. The second song Empty Bottles begins with a slower tempo than Only Poseurs Die. It starts with some acoustic guitar before a soft drum beat and some sugary sweet vocals kick in. The song is about being stuck somewhere with bad memories and trying to find a way out. Anna Lee is a fast paced and catchy track which shows off the bands creative side. This song is about the perfect someone for you and wanting to freeze time so that things stay that way. There is an odd but fun disco section in the middle of the song that makes me grin like a fool every time I hear it. Admit What You Hate is another song that starts slowly before a nice almost acappella chorus before the song really kicks in. This song must go down a treat live with its massive chorus. It’s the type that makes you put your arms the person next to you and sing at the top of your lungs. It's a super positive track as well, talking about not worrying about the negative things in your life and just enjoying the good. The fifth song, Numbers & Letters is a pleasant plodder of a song, never really changing out of the same gear throughout. It feels like a song that would get another great reaction live as it has plenty of opportunities to sing and sway.
Trucks, the sixth track, is a more sombre sounding song about growing up and realising all the mistakes you've made along the way. The vocals have a much more serious tone, at time sounding really broken and stretched, and this really adds to the feel of the song,. It makes me thing about what a tough life it was. The next song is titled I Hope You Die In Europe, which is very cheery. It's only a short song with four simple lines; here Modern Trigger talk about feeling strongly about things you know aren't actually anything do with you but arguing about them anyway. That's basically all the lyrics to the song written there. Burning Candles is one of my favourites on Coffee Coffee Anarchy. It's a fast paced song about burning the candle at both ends. It's a song I’m sure many fans can relate to, how many of us go to our boring jobs completely shattered after being out for a gig the night before? And have no regrets about it! It's a bit of a party jam as well, with some fun ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, bas. The penultimate track is I'm Brook Pridemore. According to Wikipedia, Brook Pridemore is an "antifolk" singer and songwriter from New York. The song is another fast pace song and is somewhat of a working class anthem about standing for what you believe in. There is another big finale on this song, literally just screeching the word "side." It really adds more passion to the song though. The final song on the album is titled We'll Always Be Friends and is just vocals and acoustic guitar. It’s a very downbeat song with lyrics such as "I Dream Of A World In Which I Am Dead." The song is about struggling with life and contemplating ending it. I actually feel quite uncomfortable trying to review it so I'll leave things there.
Coffee Coffee Anarchy is a really surprising record. I loved the raw feel of the record; this is how I think all DIY folk albums should sound - dirty and close to their roots. Not a bad debut at all. Check it out!
Stream and buy Coffee Coffee Anarchy! here: https://moderntrigger.bandcamp.com/album/coffee-coffee-anarchy
Like Modern Trigger here: https://www.facebook.com/moderntrigger