20 Sep 2012
The Coffee Sergeants - Purple Martin Sanctuary Review
Monkey's Paw CD
It's bizarre in this day and age, that a band as good as the Coffee Sergeants can release an album this fine and be pretty much ignored internationally. This is album number eight for the long running Austin, Texas band, and the first to make itself known to me. A little listening and reading has led me to the conclusion that the previous seven should be on my shopping list too.
Another case of a long running band's obscurity having absolutely no correlation to the quality of the music (the Pillbugs and the Green Pajamas also suffer from this syndrome), the Coffee Sergeants make high quality psychedelic pop / rock that would have not only fit in, but dominated the paisley underground scene of the mid eighties if only they'd had the insight to be born a little earlier.
Their output is admirably varied from the countryish leanings of "Start All Over Again" with it's lovely, keening slide guitar, via the catchy "Sally White" which is all Strawberry Alarm Clock style organs, and Canned Heat harmonica runs, to the more stripped back rock of "Siren" and "Too Many Yesterdays" which have the immediacy of an R.E.M that hasn't gotten too big for it's britches.
There are plenty of bands around peddling this sort of stuff for sure, but the Coffee Sergeants have the others in their field licked with a knack for melodies that are immediate but not obvious, a skill which is particularly apparent on opening track "Virginia Creeper".
To me though they're at their best though on the more anthemic numbers like "Allandale" and particularly the title track, which is a psychedelic wonder - a modern "Strawberry Fields Forever" with a wistful melancholy air that's as affecting as it is tuneful.
You can buy it here from Amazon.com
Visit the Coffee Sergeants website here to hear samples from their other albums too.