Coma in Algiers
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Coma in Algiers

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Rock Gothic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"A.V. Club Austin on Coma in Algiers"

The caustic, circuit-fried cacophony of Coma In Algiers splits a few diodes with early industrial naifs like Cabaret Voltaire, but it’s the Austin group’s flat-palmed approach to genre-mashing—and keyboard playing—that makes it stand out in town. Angular guitar stabs and David Thomas-esque mutters nod to a kinship with plenty of picked-over post-punk bands, but it’s CIA’s willingness to be ugly that gets in your face and screams to be noticed.

[2 September 2009, The Onion/AV Club Austin,,26463] - The Onion / A.V. Club Austin

"Live Shots: Coma in Algiers, Red 7, Jan. 23 by Audra Schroeder"

Friday night offered a quintet of experimental local bands, each drafting its own version of the noise ordinance. Venison Whirled, the solo project of ST 37 drummer Lisa Cameron, welded sewer sounds from a vibrator and contact mics, among other things. No Wave quartet A Faulty Chromosome's equation included a drum machine plus a drummer, cowbell, synth, harmonies, and love of Joy Division and K Records. Crushes, a duo originally from Los Angeles, reopened Venison Whirled's sewer grate with electronic drums and a guitar made out of effects pedals in a manner reminiscent of Suicide or Chrome, though they could use a little polish. Cry Blood Apache, which seems to have a different configuration every time out, was its core threepiece, bass and shards of guitar pulsating behind singer Kaspar Glass' yelped waves. Coma in Algiers' tightly wound thrash capped the night. The quintet played material from an upcoming spring release as well as songs from 2007 debut This Is Your Justice, its lanky, left-handed guitarist pulling savage tones from his instrument while complemented by the feral screams of his bandmates. CIA's live shows always feel like they're about to derail, which is what makes them engaging. It's the kind of music that's itchy on the inside and projecting its discomfort noise with bed head and dilated pupils.

[Audra Schroeder, Austin Chronicle, 30 January 2009,] - Austin Chronicle

"TV Party Tonight by Austin Powell"

Local noise-punks Coma in Algiers want to get up close and personal in the promotion of its sophomore LP, Your Heart Your Body (see "Texas Platters," May 15). For $10, at least three of the five band members will hand-deliver the album to your doorstep. From there, it's your call: receive a foot massage, have them babysit your kids, or chain-smoke to early Electric Eels records. "It's whatever you want," enthuses keyboardist/vocalist Archbold. "I personally don't mind manual labor. I'm not sure if the others would be crazy about it, but if someone asked us to dig a big hole in their backyard, I know I'd try." There are a few ground rules: Patrons must request their hangout date (any evening between 5pm and 2am) two days in advance, reside in the Austin area, and provide at least one 24-ounce can of Steel Reserve per member of CIA. "That's the bare minimum," Archbold clarifies. "With enough Steel Reserve, anything can happen." You can always pick up a copy of the disc when CIA floods Beerland tonight, July 23, with Air Traffic Controllers, the Young, and E.C.F.A. Trio or at most local retailers, but where's the fun in that?

[Austin Powell, Austin Chronicle, 24 July 2009,] - Austin Chronicle

"This Is Your Justice review by Audra Schroeder"

Man-as-animal punk has included some great species: the Jesus Lizard, Electric Eels, Flipper. Austin fourpiece Coma in Algiers isn't quite there yet, but its 13-song debut sure is agitated. This Is Your Justice comes at you convulsing and flailing, from the pavement-splatter of opener "Johnny Come Home" to the gooey guitar and bleak sexuality of "Black Rabbit," but CIA uses the primality of guitars/bass/drums/occasional keys to measured effect, never turning into a screaming bloody mess. There's even a sweet ballad, "Franklin & Julie," but it gets appropriately backhanded by the guttersnipe of midalbum standout "House on Fire." "Jelly" references sodomy, the Bible, and peanut butter for a nice slap of Yow-ism, and "Sex With an Invalid" sounds as depraved as it should, a throbbing chest-pound that makes follow-ups "Incest Party," with its tin-foil chewing screams by singer Archbold, and "Hey Mom" feel exhilaratingly feral.

[Audra Schroeder, Austin Chronicle, 23 November 2007,] - Austin Chronicle

"This Is Your Justice review by Doug Freeman"

If there is an edge to be found, Coma in Algiers sharpens it at every turn. The Austin quintet’s debut, This is Your Justice, cuts and stabs with bloody intent, 13 tracks that veer from broodingly dark to savagely punk, but never failing to slice through the bullshit with a serrated, and sometimes hilariously irreverent, knife. The first two songs appropriately set the tone for what follows: “Johnny Comes Home” fires percussive shots against increasingly driving guitars as the vocals scream out with force and fury; “Black Rabbit,” on the other hand, drones like a more intimidating Black Angels, even opening with the line “She was like a black angel of death; she had nothing left” eased out in slow moans, before caustically declaring “She fucked like a jack rabbit, yeah.”

The bleak and rabid sexuality returns throughout, and the deeper into the album, the more twisted the visions. “Sex Money Death” drowns a bouncy keyboard line with a screech of distortion and unhinged shouts, but the triptych of “Jelly,” “Sex with an Invalid” and “Incest Party” finds entirely new levels of perversion. “Jelly” jaunts with the bass and keys beginning, before blaring in a monotone howl: “He beat me, and he read the bible” while mixing sodomy and peanut and jelly in with what might be references to John Wayne Gacy. The short burst of “Sex with an Invalid” burns hilariously demented, especially with the closing cry of “I only want to be in a handicap space,” and “Incest Party” balances ringing and fuzzed out guitar lines into an incestuous paranoia-orgy that backs fittingly enough into the Violent Femmes-like plea of “Hey Mom.”

This is Your Justice isn’t just a romp of disturbed fantasy, however. “Franklin & Julie” works new textures into a bizarre love triangle, the deep pulsing backbeat and slow organ chords open up a youthful angst that singes with a sincere heart and is as exceptional as it is unexpected, even if the song does end almost inevitably in death. “Summertime” likewise works an adolescent energy with its defiant decree of “I don’t want to go to school.”

“House on Fire” erupts with an unsettled power, and the 6:00 minute penultimate track, “Worms,” provides some best subdued guitar rips while the vocals tremble with a dark, echoed call from somewhere seemingly beyond redemption, a touch of the Cure or Echo & the Bunnymen underlying the song’s dread. Coma in Algiers is hardly sedated or anesthetic, but This is Your Justice packs more than enough punch for a knockout.

[Doug Freeman, Austin Sound, 29 April 2008,] - Austin Sound

"Your Heart Your Body review by Marc Perlman"

Reviewing an album isn’t an easy task; sometimes, it seems like reviewing an album is harder and more arduous (or at least time consuming) than writing and recording one. Case in point: Coma in Algiers’ sophomore release, Your Heart Your Body. One of the more established noise rockers in a city more attuned towards country and blues rock, Coma in Algiers is a tough nut to crack, a hard meal to digest, and an acid tab slow to absorb. Keyboardist/vocalist Killshire and keyboardist/bassist/vocalist Archbold’s founding inspirational moment is self described as how the two of them were “listening to the Electric Eels and were full of disgust & joy for their lack of talent” — and it’s hard to know if that’s the Electric Eels lack of talent or Killshire and Archbold’s own self assessment.

Fast-forward a few years to a second release of bone rattling garage rock and it’s clear that Coma in Algiers isn’t lacking for noise making talent. On Your Heart Your Body, the band cuts through twelve tracks that were purportedly recorded live in one session. It may have taken the band only hours to record the album, but it’ll take listeners days (if not weeks or months) to unwrap the chaos. The amazing thing is that since the album was recorded live, there likely aren’t many (if any) overdubs yet even on the most simplistic of songs (such as opener “Why Why Why”), it sounds like there are 10 (and not 5) musicians doing their thing. The songs are just accessible enough as garage rock, technically proficient to sound like a controlled maelstrom, and veering and lurching enough to keep things interesting.

Stylistically, Coma in Algiers runs the gamut on Your Heart Your Body and no one will ever confuse them of being a one trick pony. On the aforementioned album opener as well as songs like “Something’s Amiss”, Coma in Algiers sounds like a great garage punk band following in the footsteps of bands like Dead Moon. Then again, maybe the band shouldn’t be so disgusted with their own talent, because on songs like “Come Fall” and “Possess It”, the band runs off on some sort of dark no wave trip that will likely scare the shit out of children everywhere. And that’s not even mentioning the howls, moans, grunts, and screams on “Trojan Horse”. A churning psychedelic tribal beatdown of what was probably once a simpler-kinder-gentler rocker, “Trojan Horse” is a fantastic climax and reward for a few hours in the studio, a week mainlining a record for a review, or a lifetime creating havoc with instruments.

[Marc Perlman, Austin Sound, 30 June 2009,] - Austin Sound

"Your Heart Your Body review by Bryan Carroll"

Local quintet Coma in Algiers’ second album, Your Heart Your Body, is the product of a fairly small and decidedly primordial musical gene pool. This turns out to be a good thing. The band appropriates the stranger elements of No Wave, Rough Trade post-punk and California hardcore, and assembles them (though that term is applied loosely here) to create a record that is occasionally restrained, but more often a glorious screaming mess. Occupying a space on the continuum somewhere between The Fall and Flipper, CIA’s songs maintain their structure almost against the will of the band members, who seem determined to tear them apart with their teeth. The cathartic moments are so intuitive and forceful it’s as though the group reared back en masse and projectile vomited their music all over the studio. Again, this happens to be a good thing. Reverberating percussion crashes through guitar lines that are somehow both incisive and shambolic, icy synth lines snake their way around vocals that are alternately grunted and shrieked, and fuzzed-out bass thuds rhythmically throughout. If CIA’s MySpace page is to be believed, the band will personally deliver a copy of Your Heart Your Body to the doorstep of anyone who orders it directly. This certainly seems like the ideal method of procuring the record, although readers who take them up on the offer may want to take the preventative measure of covering furniture, pets, and small children in plastic.

[Bryan Carroll, Austinist, 17 June 2009,] - Austinist


Burning Bridges [EP] (2001)
This Is Your Justice [CD] (2007)
Your Heart Your Body [CD] (2009)



music we agree on: Flipper, the Birthday Party, Pere Ubu, Mclusky, Daniel Francis Doyle, ELVIS (the Austin band), PIL, Butthole Surfers, The Fall

music we don't agree on: Hüsker Dü, the Beach Boys, Rites of Spring, Mission of Burma, St. Vitus, Lil Wayne, The Fall

Archbold and Killshire loved Minor Threat, Suicide, the Electric Eels, MBV, Cabaret Voltaire and the Modern Lovers so much, they made mixed attempts at trying to sound like all of them at once. Esteban, Johnny and Jefe arrived to make sense of it all. _This Is Your Justice_ recorded in a day at Bundy Hill Recording. Esteban left town. Cramer stepped in. Madison sang on a couple of songs. _Your Heart Your Body_ is recorded in a day at Bundy Hill Recording. recorded a handful of tracks, not yet released, at Cacophony Recorders and at 5th Street Studios. Killshire moved away. the present.