Coma Cinema
Blue Suicide


4.5
superb

Review

by Andrew Kaster USER (24 Reviews)
March 15th, 2011 | 13 replies | 5,974 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In a world where indie rockers have “evolved” from slackers to messiahs, Mat Cothran has position himself squarely in the middle and recorded a nonchalant emotional epic; free of any pretension, nostalgia pandering, or lofty expectations.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

“Is your heart too big for you to know that its broken?”, asks Mat Cothran (sole member of Coma Cinema) on the yearning denouement of Blue Suicide. Cothran is ostensibly obsessed with the past, dwelling on failed tryst and subsequent attempts to cope. Perhaps it is presumptions to assume that all listeners can sympathize with him, though it is this aspect in which emphasis is placed. As hard as I may have tried to avoid vicarious emotional attachment, I found myself transported back to my dimly starry-eyed teenage years; contemplating things I don’t fully understand and yearning for human interaction and isolation all at once. Blue Suicide is an album caught in pensive thought, a piece of faded nostalgia that is inherently as bittersweet as our fondest memories. We naturally more readily recall pleasure than pain, though there’s no escaping the fatalistic realization that those moments will never return. Throughout it all, Cothran never wallows and flounders in the melodrama, but instead, composes himself with a sense of equanimity. This is a “bedroom record”, designed for personal and contemplative use that reads more or less like an inner monologue stumbled upon (author anonymous), its text poetic and confessional while being both romanticized and beautifully honest.

Compartmentalizing heartbreaking dynamics with a pessimistic twist, “Business as Usual” coaxes you into the album’s defeatist perspective. “Giving birth in the prison pit/no one cares, it’s easier to quit”, urges Cothran amongst layers of keyboards and a steadily charging rhythm section. The second track continues to exhibit his immaculate pop songwriting skills. While twee, “Hell” is still touching and sincere; “You are a mirror image of the God she’ll never know that created hell to show you how to be alone”, he croons. Cothran continues to be fantastically consistent on sprinkling these semi-languorous melodic gems throughout the course of the album, such as on the Smashing Pumpkins-esc “Lindsey”, and the greatest song Jeff Mangum never wrote, “Caroline, Please Kill Me” (without a doubt, the catchiest and most jubilant cut off of “Blue Suicide”). Breezy airs of pop constantly glide throughout the album while melancholy remains always suspended in its rafters, always undercutting every sweet moment with a sour note.

Blue Suicide never relies to much on its “lighter” material though, choosing instead to cast the spotlight on slow burners such as the mellotron driven “Her Sinking Sun” (which recalls the fuzzy, dotting pop of On Avery Island), folksy Lennon-esc ballad “Gentlewoman”, and condensed epics such as “Whatevering” and the title track. Things are always kept fresh, as the responsibly short song lengths (only two tracks exceed a three minute run time) begin to crystallize into an increasingly morose narrative. Poignant sensations are also frequently made through use of eclectic instrumentation, running the gambit from folk tinged acoustic guitars, shoegazer synth, violins, trumpets, and whatever else Cothran could find lying around his home. Enamored with smeary and malleable textures, Cothran paints a lurid retroactive vista through his production techniques resulting in something that is lo-fi, and yet, lush; earthly and yet ethereal. These colors never dry, instead, they run and mix together into a beautiful mess.

Through a kaleidoscope of sounds, instruments, and productions techniques, we’re also given lyrics addressing emotional vicissitudes. We are beckoned to “Run from the past as it explodes”; a past that releases feelings of fading ontological consciousness. Blue Suicide might as well be the guidebook on how to be alone, as Cothran manages to somehow find warmth and company in lonely solitude. It’s the perfect soundtrack to those introspective late night walks; the sensation of disappearing and reappearing awaiting you in every movement between the light of streetlamps and the dark veil of the AM. Sometimes desperately searching for happiness (“Caroline please kill me, send my spirit to your mind/and I will hang out with your feelings until the end of time”), and sometimes given into placid depression (“Being alive makes me feel like a whore/and it’s nice, it’s alright, I am already bored”), his words and feelings are murky, mysterious, and in constant flux. Probably the most totally exposed moment is found on the track “Eva Angelina” (a pseudo-tribute to the pornographic actress of the same name), lyrically detailing slow and lonely personal decay. No friends, no motivations, no plans; Cothran confines to Eva Angelina through the chorus (“I want to know…what Eva Angelina knows”) and reinforces this assumption through the verses

It’s hard not to sound hyperbolic when writing about an album that delivers a knock-out punch like this one; an album so consistent and refreshing without actually reinventing the genre in any way. It could be said that Blue Suicide is merely a knit quilt of indie rock’s finest yarns. Though what sets this apart from the seemingly endless waves of homespun indie pop is the sheer amount of professionalism and ear for melody that this grassroots magician has. In a world where indie rockers have “evolved” from slackers to messiahs, Mat Cothran has position himself squarely in the middle and recorded a nonchalant emotional epic; free of any pretension, nostalgia pandering, or lofty expectations. There’s a natural charm to the works of Coma Cinema as potential brevity is traded in for retrogressive subtlety. There are no attempts to make this album sound any bigger than what it is; just the weekend project of some presumably lonely guy, recorded in various basements, garages, and sheds. Blue Suicide is an album of such high caliber that it puts yesteryear’s over hyped and better equipped critical darlings to shame, and it stands as a testament to the rising potential of humble songwriters working out of the confines of their dated home studios. If all artistic potential is fully realized in one brilliant and creative gust, consider Blue Suicide a ***ing tsunami.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SloppyMilkshake
March 15th 2011



981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hey, I did it right this time!

Anyways, good album. Yeah. Maybe a lot more based off of subjectivity, but hey, it's a review. This album just touched me in a certain way.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 15th 2011



10593 Comments


looks familiar?

SloppyMilkshake
March 15th 2011



981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha...yeah. But it was actually released today, so I'm good.

aok
March 16th 2011



4410 Comments


'Mat Cothran has position himself squarely' -- oy => has positioned. i just don't read enough to actually get through all of one of your reviews. cleverly written it seems though. cool that you're reviewing an album most people probably never heard of

Digging: Aphex Twin - Syro

SloppyMilkshake
March 16th 2011



981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, I doubt most people will read something this long if it's not written by staff. Oh, well. I had it originally written for a different website and posted it here, naturally. I just want more people to discover this guy. He's talented, extremely kind, and ethical, so I like to show my support.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2011



31097 Comments


A title that someone may hold is no reflection on whether or not people will choose to read his works

Digging: Banks - Goddess

aok
March 16th 2011



4410 Comments


fair enough. Alt & Indie, Folk, Psychedelic = interesting sounding to me. you've got me intrigued at least

SloppyMilkshake
March 16th 2011



981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think I forgot to mention that all of his music is free. You can go to his website and download each of his albums. I really recommend it.

cbmartinez
March 22nd 2011



2525 Comments


cool review, i have one song from this but it's unashamed generic chillwave bullshit, don't see how this could be a 4.5, love the cover art though

SloppyMilkshake
March 22nd 2011



981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My rating for this is so high because of how it affects me on a personal level. I think for most people it'll be at least a 3.5, maybe a 4. It's just really fucking catchy and filled with great instrumentation. For those who get emotionally attached, they're bound to love it more.

lancebramsay
June 12th 2011



1585 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm emotionally attached

telebyrd
September 11th 2011



869 Comments


I'm sorry, but the lead singer just cannot carry this style of music.

Jellingman
January 6th 2012



357 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pretty good record. Caroline, Please Kill Me and Her Sinking Sun are epic.



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