The latest from Gainesville’s Coffee Project: “Moved On”
Sometimes lightning does in fact strike the same place twice. This is definitely so with the Gainesville folk-punk duo Coffee Project, whose members, Buddy Schaub and Jake Crown, have already found levels of success with other punk rock and ska projects like Less Than Jake, Rehasher, and Hometeam. Falling into the acoustic ranks beside such notable bands as Andrew Jackson Jihad, Pedals On Our Pirate Ships, Ghost Mice, Bread and Roses, and Defiance Ohio, Coffee Project has already made their mark in a short time with their live shows, a 10” EP titled Easy Does It, a digital-only release titled Pickle, and their latest full-length album Moved On.
Moved On was recorded by Schaub and Crown in Schaub’s home studio, mixed at Moat House Studios, and released by Paper + Plastick Records late in the spring of 2010. Other than their usual formula of acoustic guitar, trombone and vocals, java fiends Coffee Project added bits and pieces by local musicians, including vocal harmonies by Whiskey & Co.’s Kim Helm, fiddle by Jon Gaunt, and banjo by Michael Claytor. The unplugged and stripped-down songs on Moved On are catchy as hell, riddled with hooks, with loads of energetic acoustic strumming, well-placed horn fill-ins and flourishes, meaningful streams of true-to-life lyrics and unfeigned vocal delivery. You can almost hear the surfeit caffeine surging through each composition, in both vocals and instrumentation.
Focusing on subjects such as love and loss, friendship, living on the margins, a pet dog named Pickle, booze, the duo’s hometown Gainesville and a sort of simultaneous attraction and revulsion towards it, toeing the mad and uncertain line between youth and adulthood, and above all moving on. These are universal topics to which most listeners can effortlessly relate, and in doing so are able to walk a mile – or rather, nineteen miles, taking into account the combined songs of the Moved On album and the “Easy Does It” bonus EP – in Coffee Project’s shoes.
In addition to the eleven new songs that constitute the whole of the Moved On album, the duo included a bonus EP on the same disc of the Easy Does It material. That’s nineteen songs in all. Strangely enough, the opener on Moved On is titled “Easy Does It,” which didn’t appear on the Easy Does It EP. As far as openers go, it is a fine choice, as it sets the mood for the entire collection of songs. Other mentionable songs on the album are definitely “The Everlasting Trip,” “This is Me Getting Over You in Two Chords or Less,” and the closer “Big Trouble in Little Gainesville.”
Gainesville, Florida is a hotbed of musical activity, with a very strong local scene, and with a good number of notable independent and underground bands and singer/songwriters. Some of those artists are Assholeparade, Die Hoffnung, Grabass Charlestons, Holopaw, Less Than Jake, Rehasher, Spanish Gamble, Whiskey & Co., and Young Livers. There are also a handful of indie labels, like No Idea Records and Paper + Plastick. And Coffee Project is indeed another worthwhile endeavor in a substantial community of local bands and singer/songwriters.
At present I cannot find any tour dates for Coffee Project, though I certainly hope they head northeast in the months to come and hit Philly in the process.