The perfect anthem to describe how it feels to live in 2020
Despite Ian MacKaye (guitar, vocals), Amy Farina (drums, vocals) and Joe Lally (bass, vocals) forming Coriky in 2015, they finally gave the world their debut album Coriky. However, long-time punk fans should already be familiar with the powerful trio that comprise the group, as each member has a deep history with various rock bands rooted in the Washington D.C. scene. Specifically, MacKaye has experience with Fugazi, Minor Threat and is a member of The Evens; Farina has experience with The Warmers and still plays with The Evens and Lally was a member of Fugazi and also currently plays with The Messthetics. Their rich experience is evident both lyrically and instrumentally as Coriky delivers an album that expertly navigates the complex feelings and drawbacks of living in the modern world.
Similar to Fugazi, Coriky takes a communitarian perspective on a number of issues dissected throughout the album. The first track “Clean Kill,” opens with soothing guitar riffs and laid-back percussion that juxtapose the lyrics of the song as the trio chants “It’s a clean kill/ but it’s not clean,” describing the political corruption present in many institutions today. Some have even speculated the song is about a drone pilot remotely making “clean kills” then leaving work, exploring the dissociative experience of these killings occurring and re-examining their justification. The more melodic instrumental work coupled with this lyrical insight creates a truly artistic song as it analogizes the concept of a society blissfully unaware of its more gruesome underpinnings, supposedly allowing for its own survival.
If the listener doesn’t pay close enough attention to the lyrics, they could easily get caught up in the feel-good melodies present in the song. This is true for most of the album, yet it’s that very quality that makes it so profound since it perfectly highlights the issue of the way blissful ignorance can fuel corruption. In their second track “Hard to Explain,” the listener is almost hypnotized by the acrobatic guitar work and tight baselines as MacKaye shouts “Hard to explain/ feels like everybody’s gone insane.” The lyrics speak to the increasingly divisive climate present in the status quo and ironically is a sentiment likely everyone can relate to as the political climate becomes all the more tumultuous. Coriky further explores this theme in “Last Thing,” with the trio cooly singing “Last thing we ever wanted was a war/ But we found it much too easy” along to the clang of Farina’s cymbals. The weighty lyrics in conjunction with their cool delivery leave the listener with an eerie feeling as the band explores the reality of living in a world that often finds itself at war.
Coriky’s lyrical craft is undeniably masterful, but so is their instrumental work. Their sound is definitely influenced by the more post-hardcore Fugazi, but the indie rock feel of The Warmers likely balanced out Coriky’s overall approach. The album is jam-packed with creative baselines, energetic drums and lively guitar. Particularly in “Too Many Husbands,” there is a lively interplay between the guitar and drums that add a spirited feel to Farina’s vocals.
Farina adds a significant edge to Coriky as her voice serves as a foil to her gruff-sounding male counterparts, though she definitely packs a punch in her own right. Her feminine vocals are stentorian while accompanied by the drums and guitar, particularly in the track “Jack Says.” The vocals and instrumentals never fight with each other, but rather create a harmonious sensation akin to the ebb and flow of a river.
Though this is their debut album, Coriky has already established themselves as expert lyricists and cemented an awesome sound with Coriky. Fans should only expect more great things from the band.