Stephen Pennell ©
Coffin Face, the new LP from Birmingham trio Table Scraps, was first conceived as a concept album back in 2018, wherein a band emerges from the ruins and rubble of a post-apocalyptic event. The catastrophic human tragedy of the Coronavirus pandemic has since turned that concept into a documentary but my God, what a soundtrack!
Recorded and mixed entirely within the band’s lockup in Digbeth, this is a collection of ten wonderfully raucous songs that gallop along at breakneck speed with not a nano-second wasted. Anchored on the throbbing and vibrant rhythms laid down by TJ’s bass and Poppy’s drums, the duel lead vocals of Scott and Poppy give the album a lightness of touch that encourages repeat listens. Opening track Threads sets the tone and along with second track Apology will be beloved by anyone who likes 60s B-Movie soundtracks, especially if you’re not averse to going off on the occasional Black Sabbath-like doom-metal tangent. Big Man boasts a riff that The Stones, The Stooges or The Strokes would be proud of - on this evidence the Scraps belong in the same sentence and not just because it’s a neat alliteration.
Things get heavy again on Judas Christ, while You Only Wanna Get High and Never Liked It Anyway make you wonder what would have happened if The Surfaris would have swapped the beach for the garage. The swirling keyboards and funky, hippy vibes of God Of The Rainbow lead nicely into the lively Heat Beat and the portentous tone of Doom Generation, before the album closes with my personal favourite, Heartache, a song which one can easily imagine Bacharach and David rearranging and handing over to Dionne Warwick to work her magic. Coffin Face is punky garage-psych with enough pop sensibilities to make it accessible.
The songs are mostly three minute bursts of energy that are too thrilling to get tired of, meaning that when the album concludes, you can’t wait to play it again. Virtually every song would fit right in on Quentin Tarantino’s brilliant Death Proof soundtrack and he should definitely check out Table Scraps before curating his next film score.