Coffin Break

No Sleep 'Til the Stardust Motel

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No Sleep 'Til the Stardust Motel is a retrospective of a Kurt Cobain favorite, Coffin Break. The album includes outtakes from the metal-meets-punk trio's first demo tape, as well as singles engineered by Jack Edino. Though Coffin Break could never touch Nirvana's brilliance, it's easy to see in this collection why Cobain dug the band -- guitarist/vocalist Peter Litwin and company employ a similar combination to Nirvana of Black Sabbath heaviness, punk attitude, and pop sensibilities. Just check their early cover of the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out," the Soundgarden-esque "Boxes and Boxes," the twisty, demonic chorus on "Obsession," and the band's propensity for guitar flair. "Pop Fanatic," with a theme not too far removed from "Smells Like Teen Spirit," flies by with a grooving bassline that makes the tune seem closer to a fuzzed-out Minutemen. Other highlights include the half tongue-in-cheek "Freebird" cover and the band's anachronistic Weezer gone evil pop tune, "Kill the President." This is not the best stuff to come out of the mess of genres that got lumped into the grunge years, but it's evocative of the rough-and-ready, anybody-can-make-it spirit that characterized those times. So take a long look at the cover pictures by famed grunge photographer Charles Peterson, throw in the disc, and enjoy the memories.

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