Review: Joe Coffee “Bright as the Stars We’re Under”

Joe Coffee
“Bright as the Stars We’re Under”
(Street Anthem)

“Okay, I have a confession to make. This isn’t easy, so bear with me…I’m on steroids. I first thought I’d lost a keystroke or two a few months back and I was scared of these hip young reviewers drooling at the mouth, ready to take my job, so I started shooting up. Those young kids. They don’t appreciate Joe Coffee, either. Joe Coffee, fronted by ex-Sheer Terror frontman Paul Bearer and his haggard vocal chords, have re-released their 2002 EP on Street Anthem for your morning workout. His voice sounds like he’s been taking roids straight to the larynx. “Bright as the Stars” is a mere six tracks (I’m not counting the intro or the “hidden” live song [“hidden” because it sounds like it was recorded from a bathroom stall at the club]) that showcases Paul’s rugged lyricism and his rough and tumble ideals. Gone are the hardcore trappings of Sheer Terror, replaced by a more pedestrian, hard rock template, replete with gritty bass lines and a few Social Distortion-ish guitars. The reason for Joe Coffee even being a band is undeniably Paul’s throaty growl and his sardonic lyrics, as the majority of the project sounds a little stale and pedestrian. Still, with enough HGH and a few reps on the bench press, Paul sounds like he’s got a few bullets left in his musical gun. Wish I could say the same for myself.

Brian Greenaway