The Coughs

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Although this site is generally dedicated to 70s and 80s and early 90s Chicago Punk, it is worth mentioning the Coughs, who changed the scene in the mid 2000s.


The Coughs, who had their own punk collective in the far west industrial loop, released two albums. They were a sextet and used a variety of instruments and were very eclectic and experimental. Their fanfare was underground hipsters and some punks.

All Music describes them as "a noise/no wave bunch that in their multiplicity of instruments and general size call to mind what an inversion to the all too polite hash on the Elephant 6 label would have been like -- there's even an otherwise completely atypical (if roughly recorded) banjo-led singalong on "Come Back to Me," but one wonders if this is a droll nod to Animal Collective as much as anyone else. Lead singer Anya Davidson often plays her voice as an instrument, sometimes a barely intelligible howl..." and "Using the term "post-punk revival" these days could almost be an insult in some corners, but this isn't emo backwash -- instead the arrangement suggests Joy Division's raw early approach and the start of No Wave in New York, ear-piercing and obsessively focused."

They released two full lengths: Fright Makes Right (2005, LP) on Elephant 6 and Secret Passage (2006, LP) on Load Records.

The 2010s haven't seen much of the Coughs but their official status remains unknown.

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