Hang around Bandcamp for long enough, follow a few labels, download some tracks, buy the odd LP or CD and soon enough a steady trickle of suggested new releases by artists you've never heard of will start to appear in your inbox. This is how I stumbled upon 'Fake Lake', the third full-length album by The Coke Dares. At some point I must've liked something on Third Uncle Records enough to follow the label, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was. I'm bloody glad I did though.
The first thing you notice about 'Fake Lake' is that nothing on the LP overstays its welcome. Eleven of the 35 tracks last less than sixty seconds and only four pass the two minute mark, the longest, 'Water Purse', clocking in at a lengthy 2.22. This might suggest that the record consists of a succession of brief, primitive thrashes, though nothing could be further from the truth. The music on 'Fake Lake' is very diverse - melodic, funny, angry, tender - and above all it's brilliantly arranged throughout. The songs might be short, but they are superbly crafted and bursting with more ideas than many bands come up with during the course of an entire career.
Think Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Grant Hart, a dash of The Descendents plus a smattering of Wire and a dab of powerpop and you're getting somewhere near, though 'Fake Lake' is so much more than that. Here are three samples, but I would highly recommend that you head over to their Bandcamp page, give The Coke Dares a full 44 minutes of your time and check out the whole album. It's the most richly rewarding new release I've heard so far this year.