Best Coast - Crazy For You

Antonio Rowe 26/07/2010

Rating: 4/5

LA band Best Coast appear to have gone from garage-band obscurity to being the latest set of hipster darlings in a matter of months. As it happens, it's only been 5 months since the Make You Mine and Something In the Way EPs were available for purchase from iTunes. Yet, in typical 'New Kids On The Block' fashion, as of July 16 they were the most blogged act on the perpetually trendsetting site The Hype Machine and had appeared in several 'New Band/About to Break' columns in various web and print publications. For those of you who were oblivious to this coverage, Best Coast are a girl/boy duo ("what, another?" I hear you cry) made up of vocals/tune-writer and former child actor Bethany Cosentino and multi instrumentalist Bobb Bruno, with the outfit being regularly upgraded to a 3 to 4 piece for their live performances with Ali Koehler from Vivian Girls taking up drumming duties. Tedious background information aside, it seems the timing of the media spotlight couldn't possibly be any more appropriate with BC's debut Crazy For You set for release in a couple of days (August 2nd to be precise) on independent label Wichita.

It's clear from the get-go that BC's sound is very much Beach/Surf-pop contrasted with a dark and discordant convulsion, thus resulting in said debut having oodles upon oodles of loopy reverbs mixed with vacant distant drumming and fuzzy guitar lines. It's on recent singles 'Boyfriend' and 'When I'm With You' where it's clear that BC have hit the nail on the head with regards to this summer-with-a-dark-twist sound, with both tracks being the perfect criteria for laid-back summer listening and sound tracking the romantic ups and downs of angst riddled O.C teens. As for Cosentino's voice, it's one of familiarity and range with her managing to sound like Beach House's very own smokey-voiced Victoria Legrand on 'Summer Mood' - albeit on 'Bratty B' it's more reminiscent of a younger, more innocent pre-drugs-and-alcohol Courtney Love. The latter of the two tracks is a personal highlight due to some crafty, fast-paced finger plucking (courtesy of Mr Bruno) being meshed with said Courtney Love vocal styling, all of which results in pure riot grrrl/doo-wop bliss.

Lyrically, BC simplistically flirt around the many aspects surrounding love, particularly the erraticism of teenage love with Bethany one minute serenading and proclaiming the shared similarities of her and her lover (on album closer 'When I'm With You'); the next, she's struggling to come to terms with her ever-changing hormones and emotions on 'Goodbye';

"I don't love you"

"I don't hate you"

"I don't know how I feel"

As for pejoratives, they're scarce and classic examples of journo nit-picking with complaints regarding the sheer shortness of the LP and a mere creative preference. With none of 13 tracks overstepping the 3 minutes mark - the shortest being all of 1 minute and 43 seconds - it does seem like more time literally may have being needed to flesh out some of BC's ideas in songs like 'Happy'. It would have been intriguing to see BC explore the less obvious darker side of their sonic and see what a bit more of those murky/fuzzy guitars and distant drumming would have produced. But these aforementioned complaints are nothing more than mere sprinkles of annoyance among a bundle of musical pleasure. And for a band whose front woman was in the centre of a major-label bidding war at the ripe old age of 15 - therefore meaning in a parallel universe could very well possibly of been Hannah Montana (shudder at the thought) - this debut is a definitive start and sign of what's to come.