Coach Party – ‘Killjoy’ review: inventive, angry and pretty irresistible
By all rights, Coach Party should be celebrating. The four-piece Isle Of Wight rockers have enjoyed a raucous summer, with recent nights spent supporting Queens Of The Stone Age and putting on a fiery Glastonbury set of their own. Riding this wave of momentum, there’s no better time to release their debut album ‘Killjoy’ – yet as its name suggests, Coach Party aren’t here to bask in the good times.
Instead, ‘Killjoy’ is largely set in life’s muddier moments. Opening track ‘What’s The Point In Life’ is a blistering indie rock anthem that embraces nihilism, asking “Gamma rays power plants / I don’t give a fuck do you?” instead of searching for an answer. Later, the Weezer-tinged ‘All Of My Friends’ sees singer-bassist Jess Eastwood ask how those around her are “getting a job and staying in line” while she cries on the sofa and plays Nintendogs.
Yet Coach Party are at their best when they reject these norms and fly off the handle. ‘Parasite’, one of the band’s heaviest tracks yet, is a minute and a half of ear-splitting punk rock, while ‘Micro Aggression’ is a venomous rebuttal of misogynistic double standards. ‘All I Wanna Do Is Hate’ finds catharsis in this anger, with Eastwood singing “I feel like fucking up all you’ve worked for / I am untouchable” over a relentlessly catchy guitar riff.
Many of the album’s tracks ooze with the same swagger, but others suggest it doesn’t come naturally. Between its rowdier moments, ‘Killjoy’ finds quieter space for reflection. ‘July’ is an existential crisis wrapped in bouncy indie pop, while ‘Born Leader’ peels back Eastwood’s confident facade to explore the vulnerability beneath. The feeling lingers – ‘Killjoy’ ends on ‘Always Been You’, a shimmering love letter that tinges with pain at being sent too late.
Though ambitious, this wide emotional spectrum pays off. Often catchy and always from the heart, ‘Killjoy’ is a deeply human debut from Coach Party. Their polished sound benefits massively from the odd punk outburst, and other parts of the album feel destined for boisterous end-of-gig singalongs. With their first headlining European tour kicking off this autumn, ‘Killjoy’ sees the band putting their best foot forward – and though they may not be singing about it, Coach Party are certainly closing out this summer on top.
- Release date: September 8
- Record label: Chess Club Records