Category: Soul Coughing

Soul Coughing – Irresistible Bliss

ARTIST: Soul Coughing                    220px-Irresistiblebliss

TITLE: Irresistible Bliss



SINGLES: Soundtrack to Mary (#37 Alternative), Super Bon Bon (#27 Alternative), Soft Serve


LINEUP: M. Doughty, Sebastian Steinberg, Mark de Gil Antoni, Yuval Gabay

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second album is a bit tighter in arrangements and production, which caused some band discord and left some fans disappointed.

 SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The much anticipated second album by Soul Coughing changed up their winning formula a bit. No longer did they throw the kitchen sink out there in samples and arrangements. This time, M. Doughty wanted a tighter record – even as they still combined all sorts of genres into one stew.

“Super Bon Bon” was the song on this record that has left a legacy, and it does harken back to their debut, though it is a bit slicker and polished. As the record moves along, the sense of wonderment and excitement from discovering new sounds didn’t seem to be there. It’s almost as if they were telegraphing their production and sampling tricks.

I wouldn’t call this a ‘slump’ or a bad record by any means. It’s just not as magical as the first one.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Doughty didn’t want to wait on Tchad Blake to produce, and enlisted David Kahne to produce most of the record. That didn’t go over well with anyone except Doughty, and bassist Steinberg quit for a few days.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. An EP with live cuts…in Japan (of course).

 GRADE B: By making the record tighter and less random, it takes away some of the more interesting aspects of the band.

Soul Coughing – Ruby Vroom

ARTIST: Soul Coughing 220px-Rubyvroom
TITLE: Ruby Vroom
SINGLES: Down to This, Sugar Free Jazz, Screenwriter’s Blues
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago; Casiotone Nation; Bus to Beelzebub
LINEUP: M. Doughty, Mark de Gil Antoni, Sebastian Steinberg, Yuval Gabay
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Combining beatnik poetry, sampling and jazz, a hipster band releases their hipster debut for hipsters, dig?

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Nothing really sounded like Soul Coughing in 1994. The nation was still enthralled by grunge, and sampling was the purview of the hip-hop community. Soul Coughing turned that on its head.

It was clever, funny, appealing and well-produced. The samples were integrated well, and the musicians all floated in and around them. Doughty’s poetry and rantings also were well-conceived even if some were, in fact, off the cuff.

Like most 90’s albums in the CD era, this goes on a bit too long. A couple of cuts could have been held back for B-sides. Still, though, this is a innovative album that you should check out, if for nothing else the inventiveness of “Casiotone Nation” and “Bus to Beelzebub”.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The great sample in “Bus to Beelzebub” is “Powerhouse” by Raymond Scott – better known as music in a badillion Warner Brothers’ cartoons. You’ve heard it. This also went gold in the US, even though it never charted.


GRADE: A-: A little too long, but clever, inventive and appealing.