Published Jun 26, 2020Powerful and purposeful, Coriky pick up on a lively chat that Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina left behind some eight years ago as the Evens, but they've added new topics to the conversation.
With Farina's distinctive drumming and MacKaye exploring the baritone guitar, the Evens really maximize their minimalism, with pointed songs with poppy hooks and a sound and live show all their own. Partners on at least two levels (Farina and MacKaye have a child together), the Evens' activity hasn't been particularly public since the release of 2012's excellent The Odds.
As he tended to his family and the business of his label, Dischord Records, MacKaye took a noticeably long (perhaps his longest?) break away from releasing original music. Life happens. But in 2015, MacKaye reunited with his Fugazi bandmate Joe Lally, and they and Farina began to play together as Coriky. MacKaye exchanged his baritone for electric guitar (a few live photos of Coriky in action suggest his trusty old, Fugazi-era Gibson SGs are back in action), and he and Farina continue to split lead vocal tasks, though when they sing together, it's still a pretty magical and complementary harmonic device.
Lally's voice, which he continues to use in an unfettered way, is here occasionally too, but it's his bass that really shines. Emulated the world over, Lally's playing is idiosyncratic; he can always anchor a song, sure, but his attack on every piece, inspired by jazz, as much as it is heavier rock, is tastefully lively. His recent work with Fugazi's Brendan Canty in their instrumental band, the Messthetics, has been a warm reminder of his gifts and here too, with Coriky, he provides this sturdy foundation for their spirited chaos (god damn, when the three lock in together on "Too Many Husbands" or the weirdo time signature Farina conjures in the beat for "Shedileebop," it's goose bump time). Lally might go swinging but he always lands back where he should be, for the sake of the song.
As they did in the Evens, Farina and MacKaye have some kind of fun with language in their abstract lyricism and neat phrasing. For all of the directness of their voices, whether barely whispering "It's a clean kill…" on "Clean Kill" to roaring "Pageantry!" on "Inauguration Day," their narratives tend to go further out of focus the more closely you stare at them. With humour (however hardened), they have a knack for stringing together words in rhythmic chunks ("Beautiful is dirtier / Beautiful is blurrier" on "Say Yes") that pay rent in your mind long after you take on new tenants.
Just given who's involved, there's some significant music lineage stuff to bypass. Fugazi and the Evens are each informing the members' relationships to each other and approach to their respective crafts but Coriky is its own, beautifully compelling thing. There is love and respect flowing between the three players and it's a palpable part of this expression that is emotive, reasoned, and rather relaxed. Once this record's playing, the Coriky universe is a fascinating one to be a part of. (Dischord)