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Coat Check

Lawrence dance-punk act Coat Party dresses for success.



You or someone you know has fallen for it: "Dude — wanna have a coat party?"

"Um, OK."

(Coat is pulled over head. Fade to black. Defenselessness ensues. A quick knee to the groin, and you're down for the count.)

"It's a term that I heard when I was in high school, when I was really punk," says Kyle Gowdy, bassist and songwriter for Lawrence band Coat Party. "The connotation is kind of fucked up, like we're gonna kick your ass," he adds. "But the word party makes it sound fun."

At any given show, Coat Party is more likely to kick ass than kick your ass. The band's two hyperactive female lead singers — Alison Cain and Cassie Peters — are punk-rock cheerleaders of the first degree. The duo matches the manic energy of girl-punk acts Erase Errata and Mika Miko full-tilt with berserk party tracks such as "Mental Condition" (I have a mental condition/I shoot light from my eyes/I can see the future/I know when you're going to die).

Whereas Coat Party's recordings teem with remix-ready electro beats and even some techno, as on the pulsing "GGHOHSTSSNTHAUS," the quartet strips it down to vocals, bass and drums (played by Nicholas Kotlinski) for shows.

"I really like rhythm-driven music like Gang of Four," says Gowdy, who also cites Crass as a primary influence. "I always felt like most punk and postpunk was driven by the bass. I thought it'd be good to dance to."

Four Coat Party songs circulated on a music blog called Palms Out Sounds, catching the attention of Brad Beeck, drummer for the Los Angeles band the Mae Shi. Beeck plans to release Coat Party's debut album in May on his label, Team Shi.

The band recorded half of its upcoming record with J. Ashley Miller of the Ssion, who helped the foursome track and mix six songs in six hours. Lyrically, the record addresses consequential topics such as flying horses, saber-toothed tigers, telekinesis and the impending zombie apocalypse.

Coat Party has evolved at a rapid pace since its inception as Gowdy's solo home-recording project, which was followed by a brief incarnation as a keyboard-thick trio. Peters was the last to come aboard, after some friendly cajoling.

"I was like, 'I don't know — I've never really done this kind of thing before,'" Peters recalls. "We had two practices, and they were like, 'OK, let's play a show.' A lot of our friends were really supportive."

Besides, what kind of asshole would pull a coat over two righteous chicks?

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