huge thanks to Doug Wallen and the entire Philadelphia Weekly staff:
Going Inside Outsides
by Doug Wallen
Coyote’s new Outsides picks up right where its precursor, 2004’s Insides EP, left off. There are versatile keys high in the mix, urgent vocals down low, raw garage riffs grappling with a foreboding bass presence and lots of sudden shifts in drumming. But while the Coyote we hear on Outsides may be unchanged, the band most certainly is different.
Last summer Coyote lost bassist Trevor Butler in a fatal car accident.
The record wrapped before the accident and was given out to those attending the high-profile benefit show for Butler’s family in September. Now it’s time for a proper release, heralded by Coyote’s decision to play on after such a devastating loss. Outsides is the final document of Butler’s time in the band.
Insides was released by the L.A.-based Birdman imprint. Outsides, fittingly, found a home with local label Hot Dog City Records. Swampy and overcast, it has a rare pull over the listener, partly due to unpredictable songs and a fiery delivery.
Ryan Hamilton’s voice isn’t always clear, but when it does emerge through the fog, it’s tough to ignore. The organ, prominent throughout Outsides, goes from eerie churchlike passages to groggy psych atmosphere to saloon-style tickling.
“Tea Kettle” is the slow, orderly answer to the disheveled opener “White Fox,” although it’s almost creepier in its doomy shuffle. “Headlights” makes hypnotic a simple organ line, “Air Bourne” lets the guitar take over and “Parlor” sees the two competing with a ragged Hamilton for space. “Gala of Spades” is the album’s prettiest, with a coy narrative and old-timey feel that makes it jump off the record.
Thoughts will be with Butler as Coyote play to their home audience, but these songs are weird and cool and riling enough to deserve repeated listens.
Coyote perform Fri., Nov. 23, 9pm. $8. With Mountain High + FNU Ronnies. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. www.johnnybrendas.com