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The Residents Coochie Brake album cover
4.00 | 25 ratings | 3 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

Coochie Brake:
1. Theater Of Shadows (5:25)
2. The Noche Called My Nombe (3:19)
3. Gotta Believe (3:03)
4. Rot Of Ages (3:59)
5. Outside The Fence (3:49)
6. Tied To A Cactus (4:00)
7. Crocodile Tears (3:03)
8. Dead Man On The Floor (3:00)
9. Runaway (3:07)
10. Bitter Biter (4:19)
11. Please Don't Go (6:41)

Lying Horse Rock:
*12. Lying Horse Rock (7:09)
*13. West & Kembrell (19:36)

Total Time 70:30

Line-up / Musicians

- The Residents / instruments, writing

Releases information

*Ralph Records RZ1110 in 2011
MVD Audio MVD5294A in 2012
MVD Audio MVD5294LP in 2012

*Lying Horse Rock Bonus CD only with limited fan club release in 2011

Thanks to historian9 for the addition
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THE RESIDENTS Coochie Brake ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE RESIDENTS Coochie Brake reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by historian9
4 stars Excellent album by Chuck, Bob and Carlos, with Randy being allegedly absent from this album (and Carlos has left since then). Although I heard they gave out these names or nick names of themselves on an earlier tour, it's nice to get in touch with THE RESIDENTS more closely, their most emotional and personal high point for me being the "Demons Dance Alone" album, not that they didn't release anything good after it.

This album is about their past; basically, as the legend of THE RESIDENTS goes, before coming to San Francisco and experimentation with music and other media, they were living in Louisiana (that's at least the first incarnation of the band and since the first unofficial LP in 1971 who knows how many of them changed around). All of the music on this album is inspired by that life in Louisiana, more specifically, the nights on which young RESIDENTS hung out in swamps around bonefires (Coochie Brake being one of cypress swamps in Louisiana). Imagine all the sounds you would hear at such gatherings, with some emphasis on calming nature around you, some dudes just joking around with creepy stories , and then throw in some guitars, tribal instruments and chants of all sorts, with a few industrial overtones as well. It might sound a bit complicated but it's really good, rich in instruments, sometimes noise as well, but it all flows nicely not trying to throw you of by being dissonant, it just keeps delivering this creepy atmosphere of those swam gatherings. It might be repetitive for some, but to me it was varied enough as THE RESIDENTS weren't afraid to latch onto a catchy melody here and there and make something charming out of it (song "Bitter Bitter" is like a tribal leader speaking over grunge guitar). There are voices as well, mostly in Spanish but they don't dominate the music, sometimes more in spoken word and I don't know what they are about, so there might be a whole new meaning behind the songs after some time when they get translated. Actually some yelling, chanting, whispering and such are used too and they fit in well, never really going back to the old avantgarde tribal days of "Eskimo" but to a modern sonic landscape ; I had a bit of trouble of finding an example of a band who produced songs in this manner, and this album had me thinking actually of RADIOHEAD's "King Of Limbs", and the tracks off of it, like "Feral" and the like which I think it comes close in comparison, being for me halfway between less demanding but still weird background(-ish) music and experimentation.

The bonus disc is quite an feat as well, "Lying Horse Rock" with some narration about old gangs and old legends (in English); almost 20 minutes long "West & Kembrell" though is just pure amazing, it's like "Festival Of Death" transported into these dark creepy nights in swamps that the rest of the album layed down, played by tribesmen on drugs. More exciting than any song before it, featuring a lot of buld-ups, break-outs and just genuine freak outs on electronic and acoustic instruments, especially percussions. Also there are singing children in one "chorus" (something at that point draws me to the intro music of the Beetlejuice cartoon, but I think it's just voodoo magic starting to effect me) which I would never expect on THE RESIDENTS record, serving as a backing vocal of sorts in that world music way that for example MIKE OLDFIELD used a lot. What I'm saying is that the limited bonus disc is an excellent addition to the album for that song so it's definitely worth checking it out.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Spanish language mixed with Voodoo tribal jungle rhythms - it has to be The Residents.

The latest album from The Residents landed in my email box as a promo and I had to indulge having had some small experience with the band with 'Third Reich 'N' Roll', "Meet The Residents", 'Eskimo', "Not Available", "Lonely Teenager" and 'Commercial Album' from the past. Since then I had no idea where their musical direction had taken them but I expected a high strangeness and bizarre atonality with dissonant instrumentation and unsettling vocal intonations.

The new Residents sound is not quite as compellingly disturbing as their earlier material but they still know how to shatter the senses with unexpected splashes of discordance and unpredictable time signatures. They are always going to generate music outside of the box, and indeed often blow the box to pieces with their brand of anti-music.

'Coochie Brake' is made up of 11 tracks beginning with the Spanish murmurings of 'Theater Of Shadows' that didn't impress me at all. I prefer the weirdness of 'The Noche Called My Nombe' with shrieking sax sounds, out of tune synths and groaning vocals. The lyrics are all Spanish again which is unexpected.

'Gotta Believe' is more like the old Residents sound especially the tribalistic percussion and odd instruments. I like this creepy atmosphere generated which is unmistakeably Residents trademark sound.

'Rot Of Ages' has a shrilly effect like bats shrieking and Spanish vocals penetrate a bizarre musical foundation. The low key chants are like some weird cult ritual. This one is more disturbing and totally inaccessible. The remote vocals are disconcerting and overall this is Residents at their darkest best.

'Outside The Fence' has a clanking percussion and some explosives as a chanting drone and echoed Spanish are heard. It builds with menacing volume and I begin to wonder what is being said in Spanish. Perhaps it is better not to know. This sounds ominous and not one to play late at night.

'Tied To A Cactus' is a sound heard on many Residents albums, a bizarre electronic keyboard sound and some tribal tom toms. The ambience of sustained key pads are something unusual though and it works well as a foundation. There are lots of chants and out of balance vocals. However I am growing tired of the Spanish at this stage as I can't relate to it at all.

'Crocodile Tears' has a jungle swamp feel, with incessant birds and tropical rain. The atmosphere is strong and the Spaniard words ring out with some manic yelling. The guitars get heavier and sludgier and the words 'Crocodile Tears' are repeated. This is absolutely out of the box.

'Dead Man On The Floor' has some guitar sweeps and very morbid vocal technique mostly whispered Spanish.

'Runaway' is a good addition with the mantra growled out 'Run, run, run, runaway.' The music is as unsettling atonal jazz as it gets.

'Bitter Biter' is a heavier grind of distorted guitar, a fairly decent riff. The vocals switch from whispers to snarls. The music is excellent on this with slices of tuneless synth violins and groaning guitar string bends and piercing feedback. This is more to my liking as it is strangely compelling anti-music.

'Please Don't Go' ends the album and it needs something bold to wrap it all up. The whispers and fire with booming tom toms are atmospheric. The Spanish words are spoken in low key tones, until guitar, keys and percussion builds threateningly. I have no idea what it is supposed to mean but it again sounds like a bizarre voodoo cult of people gathered around a fiery pyre. The witch doctor whispers spells and unleashes damnation upon the unweary. It could easily be a soundtrack to a horror movie. Suddenly the song changes completely into an outbreak of loud guitars and pounding drums with an agreeable synth sound. Not one to play on your first date.

'Lying Horse Rock' is the bonus disk available but I haven't heard that so you will have to rely on others reviews to discover its secrets. Overall this new Residents album demonstrates the band have not sold out to one iota of commercialism, and in fact are disturbing and off kilter as ever. I am not hugely taken with the ideas on this album, preferring past material but at least this is unashamedly Avant and delivers powerfully in that regard. It will appeal to RIO Avant prog addicts and of course The Residents are eternally going to shake up boundaries of music, and we can only applaud them for their audacity to churn out so much of this over the years of their existence. 3 stars.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars The Residents have to be the strangest yet the most unpredictable band ever. They have an incredibly huge discography and you never know from one album to the next just what to expect from them. On this album, you get what sounds like a fully fleshed out sound, where as with many other releases from them, the sound is lacking because the instrumentation is stripped down to programmed keyboards and percussion. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn't. But this time, you get a nice rich sound and a full band sound. The vocals this time are mostly spoken word and whispered vocals and most of it is in Spanish. Why Spanish? Well, Louisiana is supposedly the home state of The Residents and according to legend, there was a time when there was a lot of Spanish gold and riches buried in the area. The music tends to give a spooky, mysterious air, like the music is haunted by the ghosts that are searching for their gold. Since it is based on Louisiana legend, there is probably a lot of voodoo mysticism culled into the music.

The album is quite rich with instrumentation and is one of the best orchestrated Residents album produced in a long time. The music is complex, yet very enjoyable with plenty of guitar sounds and hooks added in to spice up the music. Many of The Residents albums are sparse studies in minimalism, but not this one. The vocals are not overbearing which is important because of the spoken word format and that the drama is held more in the instruments and the vocals respond accordingly.

This music is not very accessible and will probably be enjoyed more by those who love the avan- prog genre. I absolutely enjoy this album, the variation in the instruments which is something that lacks in a lot of The Residents back catalogue, and the originality and beauty of the music. The release is broken down into 2 CDs, the main concept of the lost Spanish treasure is the theme centered in the 1st CD. The 2nd CD is inspired by the legend of two outlaws named West and Kembrell who hid out in the Louisiana swamps. There are only two tracks on the second CD, but the 1st track is over 7 minutes and the 2nd is just under 20 minutes. The sound is still excellent but the feeling is not as mysterious as it is more soundtrack-like.

Definitely an album that is geared toward those with a love for dramatic avant-prog tastes. There really isn't anything here very accessible to any other tastes. I thoroughly enjoy this double album and highly recommend it to those who love exploratory and adventurous music. Excellent production, sound, instrumentation with a grand full sound throughout and very dynamic. I consider it essential for lovers of this style of music. 5 stars.

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