Coma Cinema – Posthumous Release Coma Cinema – Posthumous Release

Coma Cinema - Posthumous Release (2013)

Coma Cinema – Posthumous Release (2013)

I’ve only ever really listened to Conor Oberst in the context of self-condemnation, usually around the last months of the sick, slow denouement in a love affair I stupidly believe can be saved from total failure with bad poetry, whiskey and mix tapes.

Pretty, petty whining makes sense then.

Given sufficient reason and distance, though, and I find his volumes of frailty to be insufferable. Feeble odes to the inflated self-worth instilled in him at a tender age by a raging cabal of alcoholics desperate for…well, anything really but willing to settle for expendable youth…and rarely does the month go by when I don’t pause and wish out loud that I could “give him something to cry about.”

I felt a similar pang of indignation when I initially picked up Coma Cinema’s new record, Posthumous Release.

Like Oberst, Matthew Lee Cothran (the man behind Coma Cinema) plays songs in the key of self-pity, shuffling casually through the isolation grounds of doom, gloom and despair with an affected, drawling tenor and a loose acoustic pop sensibility.

Unlike Oberst, however, Cothran never lets the poetry of pain overwhelm the vulgarity of sadness. He swears freely and pointedly (preferring the terms “fuck up,” “fucked up” and “fucking up”) and, in so doing, echoes the basic, unintelligible nature of melancholy while simultaneously letting the listener know that he thinks the whole sad flag of the troubadour thing is totally bogus.

Depression sucks and death is fucked and hell may be everywhere and everyone most times but that’s no reason to get in line for unremarkable suicide. It’s a reason to fight.


The more I listen to Posthumous Release, the more I wonder if it isn’t a bit of a secret Black Metal record. A return to the genre’s bleak annihilation time roots where the self, long suffered under the foul weight of Christ, His house and its rabid somnambulists whose blind obedience raped and razed the Western world into a place of gray endlessness, revolts with pallid, determined (if only resonant in self-referential) violence.

Or am I reading too much into the “Lee (Columbine High Harmony)”/”Satan Made a Mansion”/”Partners in Crime”/”Burn a Church”/”Virgin Veins”/”Survivors Guilt” sequence that forms the middle meat of the record?

I might be. I probably am. These long hours of sunshine have worked strange patterns on my brain and I’ve spent weeks if not days trying to determine exactly why I enjoy this record so much (and it isn’t on account of Mr. Cothran’s other awesome working alias, Elvis Depressedly) when it keeps knocking sonically on the lowly Midwestern lo fi of underage Bright Eyes with a deeper thematic nod to the Albini fire sermon in “Kerosene” which I guess is fine, but there’s something more lurking on the long story and I will sleep better tonight believing its corpse paint.

Posthumous Release Tracklist:

1. VHS White Trash
2. She Keeps It Alive
3. Bailey Jay
4. Lee (Columbine High Harmony)
5. Satan Made A Mansion
6. Partners In Crime
7. Burn A Church
8. Virgin Veins
9. Survivor’s Guilt
10. Marie (No Sleep)
11. Posthumous Release

Coma Cinema - Posthumous Release, reviewed by Charles on 2013-06-26T03:31:36-07:00 rating 3.8 out of 5

Comments are closed.