Koffins are a two piece and self proclaimed ‘electronic / punk / hip-hop’ duo hailing from the USA. Having only been going since 2012, their debut EP has finally surfaced after some relentless travelling and playing shows to whoever and wherever, and the final product of all this hard work has led to their debut self-titled EP ‘Koffins’.
Before we go any further, it must be noted that this particular EP was specifically recorded in one of the members basements over the course of a few months, with what they could afford, and they tended to make the most of what they could. It is a purely DIY effort, and for that their efforts must go applauded, because lets face it, the punk ideology and DIY ethic are the ways forward!
‘Koffins’ is a five track debut effort which is merely but a short yet sweet spectacle of what we can expect to come in the future from this promising duo. Amusingly enough upon multiple listens, it genuinely feels like you are stuck in a late 80’s video game, and these tracks are the soundtrack to the gameplay!
Every track has a proper lo-fi and grainy production quality to it, which is a total juxtaposition as most music in this vein is usually quite crystal clear and has a far greater hi-end frequency range within the mastering. For example, other works this could be compared to in reference standpoint is the TRON soundtrack by Daft Punk, or the raw and raucous debut album by Crystal Castles. Hell there is even the more club-like elements of early Death Grips material (the D.G. song ‘Hacker’ springs to mind when you listen to Koffins tracks like ‘Pure Passion’).
Probably the best track on this EP by far is ‘Heads Up Display’, sounding like a more menacing and unhinged version ‘The Reward Is More Cheese’ by Deadmau5, only if it was remixed by a more sadistic mind. It is a really foreboding and tense club track that has a lot of capability. Even the final track ‘Love Wounds’ sounds like a working demo for what could be a possible instrumental for Nine Inch Nails.
There are a fair few problems with the EP as well. The biggest criticism that needs to be questioned, and which does play on the mind, is if the overall mastered sound is meant to sound like this? If Koffins are aiming for a raw and unhinged sound, then they sure as hell got it, and have nearly nailed it. However, even when you compare this EP to the aforementioned reference points in terms of production values, it does leave a lot of room to consider the possibilities that could have been reached if they spent a bit more time tweaking the sound in a more high frequency setting.
The other main inconsistency is due to the simplicity of the music. Again, whilst the overall vibe is that of a 1980s video game dream/nightmare, which is a totally cool thing, the song structures are very basic and can be a little tiresome.
However with all this in mind, there is a LOT of room for potential right here, and Koffins are still just finding their feet. Whatever their direction may be at this point in time, they are certainly on the right track for innovation and originality. It will be very interesting to see where Koffins go next, as this US duo have a lot of promise to offer at this point in time.