Sound Off

Kinch's Brian Coughlin on Black One, Come on Die Young, and Andrew and His Fiesty Felines

Welcome to the latest installment of our weekly feature, Sound Off, where Jason P. Woodbury is joined by a different guest each week to listen to and discuss three tracks from local Phoenix artists. If you would like your songs to be considered for future Sound Off columns, please email [email protected].

Today's guest is Brian Coughlin, guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist in Phoenix-based indie rock band Kinch. Coughlin is a busy guy -- the band is getting ready for a string of dates with Jimmy Eat World at the end of the month, and is prepping the band's new release, The Incandenza, with hopes to release the record within the next few months.

Coughlin's unique knack for melody and songcraft made him a perfect candidate for Sound Off, so I bent his ear toward three local tunes from hip-hop group Black One, garage rockers Andrew and His Fiesty Felines, and hardcore outfit Come On Die Young.

Tea Party Bomba by kinch

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Black One, "One Day the Sun Will Stop Shining"

Rapper Jason Ikner, A.K.A. Black One, splits his time between Tucson and Phoenix. He is scheduled to perform Friday, September 16, at the Stray Cat in Tempe.
Up on the Sun: So that was "One Day the Sun Will Stop Shining," by Black One. What did you think?

Brian Coughlin: I kinda dug it. I liked the sample choice. Good luck getting something like that cleared. I responded to it [but] I wasn't too keen on the hook part --

Yeah, the hook kind of bothered me, too.

I just don't think it was very...I just don't remember it.

I thought the verses were solid. I liked the line about "missing the date with destiny, she wouldn't go dutch." I like the rap a lot. I like the sample -- it's a little bit weird, it gives the song a weird feel. It never quite locked into a groove. The sample seems to be a little out of sync, in a good way. There's another rap single on the radio that samples Neil Young...the song "Old Man." It's Redlight King, "Old Man."

Yuck. That made me throw up a little in my mouth. What I like about [Black One's] sample is that you could recognize it, but I almost wonder if I would have said, 'Oh, that's a Neil Young sample' if you hadn't said it. Obviously, when you said it I immediately knew -- but I wonder if it would have taken me a second to catch on to that.

Whereas this Redlight King song --

Yeah, it's just so over the top obvious. I like the local song much better than the Redlight King one.

If we're going to do a Neil Young-hip-hop-sample off, I'm going to pick Black One every time. I heard Red Light King on the radio, just flipping through the radio. I don't listen to the radio all the time. I keep it on NPR a lot, but I do listen to the radio for work. I heard this song driving home one night on X103.9 and I heard the sample, and I wondered if it was some sort of remixy thing. But it's kind of like when Crazy Town sampled that entire Red Hot Chili Peppers song. That's not a sample, you're just using the entire song and rapping over it.

Yeah -- my heart was crushed a little bit when Jake [Malone, Kinch bassist] pointed out that one of my favorite Daft Punk, song, "Robot Rock," is just a straight rip of Breakwater's "Unleash the Beast," a soul band from the '70s. There's something interesting about finding something that people aren't aware of, and doing something over it. And there's even something cool about doing some totally obvious and doing something unique with it. The Redlight thing is just kind of lazy, almost. "Here's a song that people already recognize, that already has massive appeal, and all you're going to do is throw a quick easy beat around it," you know?

Whereas this Black One sample isn't so obvious. I really love Neil Young. For them to sample "Southern Man," which is his song about Southern racism, and to combine that with a hip-hop beat -- that seems like a really intelligent, insightful thing to me. That hook is the only thing that throw me. It's a really evocative line, "One day the sun will stop shining," but it doesn't resonate melodically...

I think it could just be tweaked a little bit, yeah. I liked it.