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Coachwhips performing at a reunion show at Total Trash Halloween Bash, in 2012.
Coachwhips performing at a reunion show at Total Trash Halloween Bash, in 2012.
Background information
OriginSan Francisco, California, United States
GenresGarage punk, noise rock
Years active2001–2005, 2014
LabelsBlack Apple Records
Show and Tell Recordings
Narnack Records
Associated actsPink and Brown
Thee Oh Sees
The Hospitals
Zeigenbock Kopf

Coachwhips was a garage rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 2001. The band consisted of John Dwyer (vocals, guitar), John Harlow (drums) and Mary Ann McNamara (keyboards, backing vocals, tambourine). In their second incarnation, Val-Tronic played keyboard/tambourine, and Matt Hartman (former guitarist for Cat Power and drummer for Sic Alps) played drums.

Coachwhips are known for their stripped-down, unpolished garage rock and completely unintelligible lyrics, a sound that is similar to The Oblivians and The Gories.[1] Coachwhips played their last show in New York City in late 2005.

The band performed a reunion show in 2014 at the South by Southwest festival.

Band members[edit]

  • John Dwyer - guitar, vocals
  • John Harlow - drums (2001–2003)
  • Mary Ann McNamara - keyboards, tambourine, backing vocals (2001–2003)
  • Matt Hartman - drums (2003–2005)
  • Val(tronic) - keyboard, tambourine (2003–2005)



  • Split 7" with A Tension (Kimosciotic, 2003, KSR-006)
  • Split 7" with Trin Tran (Show And Tell Recordings, 2004, SAT 005)
  • Split 7" with Intelligence (Omnibus Records, 2005, omni036)


  • Hands On The Controls CD (Black Apple Records, 2002, 002)
  • Get Yer Body Next Ta Mine LP (Show And Tell Recordings, 2002, SAT 003)
  • Get Yer Body Next Ta Mine CD (Narnack Records, 2003, NCK 7002)
  • Bangers Versus Fuckers (Narnack Records, 2003, NCK 7009)
  • Peanut Butter And Jelly Live At The Ginger Minge LP/CD (Narnack Records, 2005, NCK 7024)
  • Double Death CD (Narnack Records, 2006) (a collection of rarities and b-sides, it also comes with a DVD showcasing their live shows.)
  • Hands on the Controls LP (Castle Face Records, 2013)


The band is known for their lo-fi sound, and to achieve this effect, the band uses a telephone transducer as a microphone.[citation needed]

In a 2005 interview with SLUG Magazine, Dwyer claims the band steals telephones for use in their music from hotel rooms every time the band stays in a hotel on tour, which he says is why the band is usually not invited back to the hotels they have visited.[2]

John Dwyer used a Kramer DMZ 1000 and a 60's Harmony Stratotone in Coachwhips. He now almost always plays a clear EGC DS. He runs both his guitar and Microphone into a 1-12 Music Man combo amp.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Carrier Review : Coachwhips (Garage Punk)". Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  2. ^ Soper, Jared (April 2005). "WHIP IT GOOD: PREPARE TO BE DOMINATED BY THE COACHWHIPS". SLUG Magazine. Eighteen Percent Gray. Retrieved December 6, 2017.

Other sources[edit]

  • Evert. Coachwhips Accessed June 16, 2007.

External links[edit]