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Best Coast - Hotter than UV rays
on 1 August 2010
The sound of summer has arrived and its utterly joyous and endearing (just ignore the oil on the beach). Best Coast are a surf/pop/gospel group from Los Angeles who comprise the wonderfully named Bethany Cosentino, who writes and records with her great chum Bobb Bruno. They state as their key influences California boys, Connie Francis, Stevie Nicks and cats which is nicely eclectic. Indeed "cats in sun glasses" figure extensively on their blog and the little ginger moogy on the cover of this album could try to look a bit happier (although its true the poor feline is in the water) since this record is one that is destined to put a huge smile on your face.
The band have already put out one of this years great singles "Boyfriend" which you should beat a path down to your local Spillers to appropriate. It is a huge slice of sun kissed pop and near Fleetwood Mac style rock that screams modern classic. Cosentino's vocal is swathed in reverb and she punctuates it with immortal lines of dumped regret. These include the rueful "The other girl is not like me"/ She's prettier and skinnier/ She has a college degree/ I dropped out when I was 17/ If only I could get her out of the picture/ Then he would know how much I want him". It is truly one of the best songs of the year thus far although it may have an equal in "Our Deal" which comes from that classic throwaway pop of the Shirelles with massive "ooh's and aah's" harmonies and the sun blazing in the background and if its not then you can listen to the lovely "When the sun don't shine".
Cosentino does have some similarities in her voice to the great Neko Case and no more is more evident than on one of the albums true highlights "Summer Mood" a beach ballad of the highest order destined to soundtrack summer flings, romance and broken hearts. Only one song on "Crazy for you" breaches the three minute mark (and that's only by 2 seconds) and the while album just about tops thirty minutes. That said the length is perfect packed as it is with no filler or wasted moments. Thus it goes without saying that "The End" is not a cover of Jim Morrison's 12 minute Oedipus complex monster but a roaring pop song with a broad grin and heart warming lyric as is the Vivian Girls style rush of the title track "Crazy for you" (Note - drummer Ali Koehler of the VGs has joined the band). Finally the album finishes with their first single "When Im with you" which sounds like Sonic Youth mixed with Beach boys and brings this delightful and winning debut album to a roaring finish. "Crazy for you" is classic sweet surf pop and completely endearing so much so that you can almost feel the sand between your toes.