Wednesday, 11 August 2010

REVIEW: Best Coast - Crazy For You

With the recent successes of self-proclaimed "surf pop" bands such as Surfer Blood and The Drums, Bethany Cosentino aka Best Coast joins a genre already teeming with potential. However, with their debut album comes the impression that this is a duo quite apart from the rest. Free from wacky haircuts and Brooklyn swagger, Best Coast's music has a raw, DIY honesty that makes it feel like a couple of friends jamming in your garage on a sunny afternoon, dealing with topics from love to weed to, err, talking cats.

This is obvious from album opener and ready-made summer anthem "Boyfriend" in which Bethany laments a friend which she wishes was more (haven't we all?). The lyrics are straightforward and the instrumental has an endearing simplicity to match. The Beach Boy-esque "oohs" and "aahs" provide the sugar-sweet backdrop which allows the vocal to dominate. It is much the same on the following track "Crazy For You" during which the lyrics gain a dose of quirky, sharp humour when Bethany admits "I want to kill you but then I'd miss you". The vocal is delivered in a style similar to Camera Obscura's Tracyanne Campbell with their signature, punchy brass exchanged for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart-inspired grungey guitar riffs.

Slow(er) jam "Our Deal" features dreamy, calypso chorus "that's not your deal, that's not my deal", laid over feather-light harmonies, Bethany's tale of heartbreak taking centre-stage. The pair get their angst awn in my personal favourite track "Bratty B" with the guitar adding extra weight and the drawl delivered with an air of a don't-give-a-shit attitude - "Pick up the phone, I wanna talk about my day, it really sucked." Stoner-anthem "Goodbye" is also a highlight, Bethany's vocal at its most ferocious - "Well I don't love you but I don't hate you, I don't know how I feel." The tempo gathers speed in similarly punky number "Happy" at just 1:45. This is a trend with the record's longest track clocking in at just 3:01; each song a short, sharp burst of energy, captivating their audience for just the right duration and proving the puuuuurfect summer soundtrack!

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