CORICKY – ” Coricky “

Posted: June 14, 2020 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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Formed in 2015, Coriky did not play their first show until 2018. They have recorded one album. They hope to tour.

Coriky is a band from Washington, D.C. Amy Farina plays drums. Joe Lally plays bass. Ian MacKaye plays guitar. They all sing. One night in the long-ago time of February 2020, Ian MacKaye stood onstage in Charlottesville, Virginia and sang these words: “What’s surprising is the expectation that we’d ever have a say/ About who’d be standing on that carpet on inauguration day.” There was no mistaking that line. Nobody in the crowd had heard the song “Inauguration Day” before that night, but MacKaye’s new band Coriky had printed up a big stack of photocopied lyric sheets, and they were all sitting at the table where people came in. At the time, I thought this line was cold and fatalistic. At the time, it looked like maybe something actually could be achieved from people trying to have their say. The coronavirus pandemic hadn’t happened.

I just listened to the new Coricky album straight through and it is really excellent. It’s so nice to hear people I love singing and playing new music together!, Ian MacKaye was right. He usually is. MacKaye’s work — with Minor Threat, with Embrace, with Fugazi, with the half-dozen other bands he’s sung for — has meant a whole lot to a whole lot of people. It’s been possible, over the years, to hold MacKaye up as some kind of totem of punk rock idealism. But that’s overly simplistic, and it also does a great disservice to the actual music that MacKaye has made and that often doesn’t fit that monastic punk-rock saint narrative.


For much of the ’00s and ’10s, for instance, MacKaye was half of the Evens, a duo with the drummer and singer Amy Farina. Their music was quiet, murmured, internal. It sounded like two people having a conversation with their voices and their instruments. MacKaye’s baritone guitar rumbled and sparkled. Farina’s drums shuffled and danced, doing complicated polyrhythmic push-pulls. MacKaye’s voice is a stentorian bellow, and Farina’s is a crystalline alto, but the somehow harmonized beautifully. They still do.

Coriky, the new band, is MacKaye, Farina, and bassist Joe Lally, MacKaye’s longtime bandmate in Fugazi. MacKaye has said that the three of them have been a band for five years and that they simply spent the first four of those years playing together in a basement, not in public. You can tell. These three people already knew each other very well, and they would’ve known each other very well even without those years in the basement. Coriky’s self-titled debut does not sound like a debut. It sounds like the work of a veteran band with a long-established chemistry.

In Coriky, you can hear that miraculous thing that can happen when musicians understand and trust one another. Lally’s basslines are slow and rich and resonant, and they always lent a crucial and unsung dimension to Fugazi’s sound. In Coriky, Lally and Farina don’t lock in with one another that often. Instead, they dart in and out of each other, pushing each other in different directions. MacKaye’s guitar rings and tingles and sometimes erupts. On the album, you can hear three people developing a whole new musical language, a way of interacting. It’s exciting.

Bands aren’t math equations. Coriky isn’t Fugazi with Amy Farina playing the Guy Picciotto and Brendan Canty roles. It’s also not the Evens with a bass player. There are moments where Coriky sound like Fugazi or like the Evens. Nobody on earth sounds like Ian MacKaye, so everytime he opens up his throat, it calls up entire lifetimes of righteous, anthemic music. But the sound on Coriky is strikingly fully formed. The album has an ominous, uneasy beauty that doesn’t really sound like anything these three musicians have ever done.

Released June 12th, 2020

The band:

Amy Farina: Drums, Vocals
Joe Lally: Bass, Vocals
Ian MacKaye: Guitar, Vocals

Coriky is out 6/12 on Dischord Records.

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