CoCoComa

Spectrum of Sounds

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In their first five years together, Chicago garage punk firebrands CoCoComa not only released two fine albums, but dropped a handful of singles on a variety of small labels (including their own Trouble in Mind Records). For fans tried of tracking down, say, "Covert Pop," on that split 7" with the Mans, CoCoComa have performed a noble public service and compiled Spectrum of Sounds, which brings together their non-LP sides up to 2010 along with a handful of previously unreleased live tracks. CoCoComa made noticeable strides forward as a band on their second LP, Things Are Not Alright, and fans should be aware most of the material on Spectrum of Sounds reflects the more raw and manic sound of their self-titled debut. Then again, that first album was a whole lot of fun, and so is the music included here, which roars out in lo-fi glory as CoCoComa attack these songs like a hungry man turned loose on an all-you-can-eat buffet. Drummer and lead singer Bill Roe doesn't let up for a moment either on the skins or at the mike, and guitarist Lisa Roe wrestles a great, fuzzy roar from her instrument while Mike Fitzgerald's Farfisa organ moans eloquently and his occasional bass work fills up the spaces nicely. And if this music represents CoCoComa at their least subtle, it also captures what made them a great band from the start: their reckless enthusiasm for their music, the sweaty passion of their performances, and the strength of their melodies, which for all their simplicity never fail to stick in the ear and give the band a perfect framework for their joyous, bash-it-out rock & roll. There isn't much nuance in the material on Spectrum of Sounds, but if you want to hear a great band blowing it out and having a lot of fun doing it, then this ought to be on your turntable right now.