Review Summary: On their first and last LP, Coping overcomes it's lack of originality with excellent song writing chops and an energy born from frustration and sweaty basement shows.Coping
continues the not so long tradition of twinkly emo bands from Chicago, a la Grown Ups
, by releasing Nope, their first full length. Sadly it’s also their last LP as well, as they broke up shortly after recording Nope. Therefore, no sweaty house shows getting to know these songs, no singing and swaying, and no chance to meet the creators of this record. One could perhaps argue this detracts from the legacy of the record; after all Coping was born and bred via basement shows. The band loses the opportunity to spread word of it by touring behind it, adding a layer of grime and grit to the songs. They certainly aren’t earning originality points with their style, a Kinsella rip off that is particular popular among recent bands like Algernon Cadwallader
, and countless other groups.
To be fair, what they lack in originality they make up for in songwriting ability and a knack for endearing lyrics. Sure it’s an emo record, and anybody who is going out of their way to listen to this will very likely not have a tough time finding something to relate to. Still, it is no mean feat combining interesting melodies and personal confessions.
Predominantly noticeable on the first few listens to Nope is that there is no break in its twenty-seven minutes. Every song charges on ahead, oblivious to its surroundings. By track numbers eight and nine fatigue sets in, as the songs have started to blur. Thankfully the album ends shortly after, crashing to a halt, leaving the listener tenderly rubbing a whip-lashed neck as they reach to restart the album. That isn’t to say someone WANTS the album to end; its just they need a breather. The band talked about exorcising some demons while recording this record, and it is supposed they must have been in a bad place if the pace is as aggressive and full throttle on the album as it is. In this light, it’s even more of a shame not hearing the lyrics screamed at you in a cramped show.
B is an early highlight from the album, detailing an argument from a failing relationship. Over scattershot noodling, the singer details, “a frustrating stance that never wavers, does it waver?” and shouts, “You’re talking so ***ing loud I can’t hear anything”. Indeed the vocals on this album are a particular pleasure; constantly straining against a layer of fuzz to deliver it’s scratchy, slightly high-pitched diatribes. Love Tigress is possibly the catchiest song on an album chock full of hooks. It rockets out of the gate, railing against an ex-lover who is trying to sink their teeth back into the singer. Finally, Double Perfect finds the singer back where he started, nervous yet excited to start a new connection. He intones, “I guess right every time”, an obvious fallacy to us all, because if that was true we wouldn’t be listening to this record
Coping’s suffering is the listener’s gain. Coping did indeed get a chance to play these songs at least once, reuniting for a last show six months after they originally split. So since almost all of us did not get the pleasure of experiencing this, we must be content with dreaming of singing along to these songs. Though Coping are missing out on promoting and building their own reputation, and their record’s, via touring, Nope is enough of a legacy to endear themselves to a generation of Kinsella emo lovers.