The quartet is noisy, for sure, but that’s just the thorns on the stem of its blooming, off-kilter melodicism. This is clangy, lyrical, willfully off-kilter post-punk that straddles the line between raw rock 'n' roll (think late '60s Stones), pop, and experimentation. Contemporary yet timeless.


“I’ve never really lived anywhere else,” allows Coffinberry drummer Tony Cross. “You can’t help but reflect whatever type of day-to-day life is going on. Cleveland is a unique place.”

Coffinberry’s self-titled new album (their third full length) delves deep into the basement aesthetic of capturing the kernel of inspiration where all the excitement lies, resulting in over a dozen largely acoustic, though no less over driven, cuts of sundrunk Midwest rock adorned by ghostly harmonies, ecstatic beats and melodies baked in an acrid lacquer.

The fourteen tracks (reportedly whittled down from forty) clock in at just thirty-seven minutes; each successive spin reveals yet another layer of melodicism within each two-and-a-half minute marble mouth incantation of fat rats, new colors and turning days into nights—revealing an album as varied as it is infectious.

The brothers Cross, bassist Pat O’Connor and guitarist Tony Janicek, along with the help of engineer Mike McDonald, have muscled out a splinter-edged slab of Midwestern Gothic that stakes claim to its own seat at the rock-and-roll table, even one that lies in the shadow of a monument. (-- written by Nathan Miller in Ghetto Blaster magazine)


Benefiting from their previous studio experience (including time at Chicago’s Electrical Audio), the band retreated for months into the dimly lit basement of the house they occupy on the Cleveland/Lakewood border, to record dozens of new songs on modest tape equipment.

The resulting cut is an astonishing 14-song LP, its sound at once down-to-earth, detailed, and exuberant. Its workmanship points to Coffinberry’s dedication—and isolation: the bandmates live on a heavily trafficked yet anonymous roadway (a jumble of bars, car washes, and drive-thrus), an appropriate locale in which to create blue-collar narratives of sorrow and sanctuary. (-- label press release)

In 2008, the Cleveland Free Times arts weekly (now Scene) and its readers bestowed the “Best Indie/Underground Band” honor upon Coffinberry.


Mind of a Child

Written By: Cross/Cross

oh where did this come from
i buried her in the woods so deep
i begged her to please see me, no
you have the mind of a child
but i'd sure like to be
i know i can be in love
she left with the sundowners
returned to the sea
she comes back to marry me
no you have the mind of a child
the nights melt like honey
the sweet waste of money is mine
an old annie fate will be throwing her weight
but my eyes still taste gold
from a sweet young milk maid


Written By: Cross/Cross

well i guess that the junk i've composed is not enough
it's only left me digging blindly through the weeks
saying we need this time for ourselves and no one else
but i didnt mean it, i never meant it comes out of me
so when you finally coming home my baby
you know i cant wait to be there
in the arms of your skin
and in the mouth of your teeth
let me have you I’m the one who'll let you leave
saying I’m gonna tear all my hell walls down
and if you'd like you can help me im sure i'll need
so when are you finally coming back bag lady
you know i cant wait to be
when are you finally coming home to save me
you know i cant wait to be in the arms of your skin
and in the mouth of your teeth

Dead Skin Flowers Bloom

Written By: Cross/Cross

i dont wanna work
and i dont wanna think
i dont want a mind i dont wanna sink
i dont want ears or eyes
i dont wanna sleep and i dont want a man
i dont want a girl an i dont wanna land
i dont want a funeral
cause when you pick part
when you pick apart alls you'll find is dead skin
i dont wanna trench
i dont want no shade
i dont want a phone
and i dont want a brain
i just want the scum back
scum dad
scum baby

Smashed on Honey

Written By: Cross/Cross

aby we'll smash em with our wings
i beat my drums mercy
the brain it doesn’t know where hearts come from
ah she told me ah she told me
ah she told me a bed of nails works for me
and dont cry any more
and you should not look so tired
and you will not be so bored
pure soul
how long must i wait oh how you'll grow
burn on and on
watching from the glow it paints the dead
cherry red and brilliant orange an
ah she told me the children are all asleep
to suck a bloody sore
blow breath all around my brain
the sand can guard the shore

Little Machine

Written By: Cross/Cross

dont i know you no you dont
you dont know what i drink to keep the fever down
will you leave me no i wont
i wouldnt leave through the air
through the water or the ground
little machine breathe
little machine love me
yeah i hope through the dark end of the road
aint it sorry how its grown
been the same lost the taste
newer fights have left you dumb
when its over you'll know my eyes
and the grace with the ticks that
you'll grow to despise

Long Story Short

Written By: Cross/Cross

you can define us by what we lost or by the mutilated highway bones you cross
the earth reflects it muddy but clear
in three dimensions you wont find in any mirror
as for your sidekick he's alright
drinks shots of ragwater deep into the night
and i went and studied a suburban myth
now im finding out what kinda town this is
i dont think of her too much no more
i got a guy who does that's what i pay him for
i work for free now, thats what they say
when i heard that it was such a glorious day
my sub-contractor out in the woods
said he'd contact her when he feels the timings good
but it was a wash up they cut the wires and left a working man there drowning in the fire
but im important to her cause now
i milk the cocaine from progress for real's cash cow
their are no trenches
and their aint no war
and if their was i wouldnt pray to it no more


Coffinberry (s/t), 12" LP -- Collectible Escalators, 2009
God Dam Dogs, CD -- Morphius, 2007
Sleush, cassette -- Viva Recording Co., 2005
From Now On Now, CD EP -- Morphius, 2005
The Spins 7" -- Exit Stencil, 2002

Set List

Sets are about 45 minutes long, with the occasional cover for an encore. Sets change from show to show, usually a mix of stuff from the most recent release and one or two new numbers. Current set includes these tracks from the new self-titled LP:

Smashed on Honey
Dead Skin Flowers Bloom
Long Story Short
Fat Rat
Little Machine