Take Things As They Come
The busiest man in Riverwest’s bustling music scene is Myles Coyne. When he’s not putting up flyers for other bands and organizing DIY festivals, he’s playing in clubs, basements, and art galleries with one of his many different bands. Take Things As They Come, however, is the first album to bear Coyne’s name in big letters on the cover, and although he’s in creative control, his rampant collaborative spirit makes The Rusty Nickel Band’s punchy folk-rock debut sound less like a solo project than a true group effort.
Your enjoyment of the record will depend largely on your feelings about Coyne’s speak/sing/bark vocals. It’s fair to say they’re not always on pitch, although he manages to keep himself basically in tune for some sweet harmonies with Caley Conway on many tunes, particularly the exhilarating, Dylan-esque title track and the mellower “Cassidy.” Conway contributes a song of her own, “About,” to represent the female perspective in the broad coming-of-age narrative that strings the album together, and her conversational lyrics fit right in with the no-bullshit proceedings.
“Well it’s easier to disappoint / Than to tell someone to go fuck off,” Coyne sings in “Don’t Tell Me,” the most overtly aggressive and least catchy track on the album, but elsewhere there’s no shortage of indelible melodies when the songs are more endearingly sweet. Advance single “I’m Not Gonna Let Go Of You (This Time)” is an irresistible sing-a-long, and not just because of the call-and-response final section. “Another Side Of Myles” is an infectious swell of enthusiasm from start to finish; it’s tough to argue with the sentiment when Coyne sings “Wouldn’t that be nice / To say the time we’ve got together / Isn’t marked up on the clock / Some call it ignorance / But me, I call it love.”
As sweet and wistful as Take Things can be, it’s rough around all its edges—the point being, perhaps, that a rusty nickel has just as much value as a polished one, and recording engineer Shane Hochstetler has done a great job of capturing the goofy, youthful exuberance of a Myles Coyne live performance. In a scene dominated by pensive, even morose lyrics and music, this scrappy little record could be a real shot in the arm.
Myles Coyne And The Rusty Nickel Band celebrate the release of Take Things As They Come Saturday, August 3 at Linneman’s.