I Bought You A Coffin is the debut LP from Nashville, TN. based post-punk trio EFFORTS. It was written and recorded by the band over the course of three self-described “rough” years (a 20 point list of injuries— both physical and spiritual, are included in the liner notes).
While the album started as an experiment by guitarist DAMNSEL (who had never written a song in his life), the additions of both Zach Grace (Mock Orange) on drums and Geoffrey maybe (Modern Broads) on bass pushed the ideas into more pop-driven grunge songs, each track forcing it’s genre to swing from familiar tones to unexpected surprises along the 34 minutes of playtime.
Both a midlife crisis and self-effacing cry for help, IBYAC is presented as two acts of a play (with a tone-shifting, experimental interlude to set both sides of the album apart. Each act remains separate, but connected, something the band says they spent “too much time on”, choosing to marry songs together both through sound design and “pages of faux-cult charts and symbols”.
Act One was sees the band at their most commercial, songs like May You Absorb All Evil (track 2) is about as pop-punk as one could imagine, while Ash to Dust (track 3) sounds like someone wrote a country song in a haunted house. Still, standout single Vera (track 7) has all the hallmarks and merits of top 40 radio. these hook-friendly songs are also surrounded by bits of more experimental craft—the sort of ideas a band starts to include on a third or even fifth album (the result of a lengthy and problem-plagued recording process).
Act Two starts with another trio of grunge friendly pop songs, each more ready for radio than the last—including Mad-at-Dad anthem 6 Pack, Nice Abs(tinence)! (track 09), Billboard ready It’s Only February (track 10) and classic album staple: “the song that should have been a single” Die Right Here (track 11)—each of these proving why the band has been compared as much to a Charlie Brown Christmas Special as they have Dinosaur Jr.
Act Two also brings the listener to standout track Pick Up Your Tinsel (track 12) a lo-fi indie rock holiday anthem that perhaps showcases the band at their best: thoughtful, purposeful songwriting with clever ideas and simple lyrics.
Not content to connect in just traditional manners, EFFORTS have sought to share their recordings in ways built for the unique and dynamic landscape of post internet culture. This means sharing the album for free on streaming services, as well as printing up hundreds of copies of the CD and sending them through the mail to a growing list of international fans. The album has also been available for a limited time at LFR records In Tokyo, Japan. These concerns on how and where we get music is at the heart of EFFORT’s three man operation. Zach brings CD’s when touring with his other band, and DAMSEL makes sure that anyone who buys his Hong Kong manufactured card game finds a CD among their shipment.
The band has several innovative plans for 2019, including shooting and producing their own videos, sending their own CD’s, shirts, and vinyl to record shops around the world (“people are glad to carry us on our own dime”, says DAMNSEL), as well as social media targeted guerrilla style shows where most bands wouldn’t like twice. During all of this they’ll also be headed back into the studio to record their follow up, which has been written by DAMNSEL & Geoffrey Maybe during their free time.