Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Reviews:: The Coast

Sometimes a song just sparkles. The notes flicker beautifully like a flame, or a star filled sky. We are very late in the game, and to the four people that make up The Coast we issue an apology, but that description fits their debut EP to the letter. Their self-titled EP is a collection of expansive tapestries of sound that pays homage to a lot of bands from across the pond (the Verve and New Order are the ones that come to mind), but somehow never manages to sound forced or overproduced.

In fact, its the simplicity of the elements they create and how the come together that shows how much talent this band actually has. Instead of relying on rapid fire drums or syrupy, crunchy licks, The Coast prefers well constructed, soaring arrangements that sway effortlessly. All Farewells is a perfect starter for the EP. The simple, pleasant guitar and drums let you settle comfortably into the song before Spurr’s vocals take over. The band doesn’t bombard you with a haze of fuzzy guitars. Instead the song is almost weightless, floating along happily, completely contrasting the melancholy in which they lyrics exist.

Take a Walk Outside takes on a synth feel, but the band only uses guitar effects, a simple bouncy bass riff and the simple strummed acoustic that hovers in the distance to solidify the organic feel to the song. Maybe that’s why this EP grabbed me right away. Their music influences are bands I like and the elements seem familiar on the surface, but they are actually remarkably fresh. On The Lines Are Cut, the band uses a fuller mix, with crashing cymbals and beautiful distorted guitar interspersed with a gentle acoustic backbone. The slow, well constructed builds reveal another wrinkle to their song writing.

The thing I really love about this EP is that on the first few passes the songs appear to have come together so effortlessly, but when you really take time with the record you can hear the finishing touches the band puts into each song (like the subtle vocal distortion they add to the very end of All Farewells). On Harbour Lights, they use a U2 piano ballad as starting point, but take the time to add an electric undercurrent to thicken up the mix. That simple decision adds the needed element to change this from a Coldplay/Five For Fighting radio song into a great concert ending slow burner.

The Coast is playing their first Vancouver show @ the Lamplighter on July 16. From all accounts, their live show has a bit more edge and is well worth checking out.
MP3:: All Farewells

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Posted at 12:28 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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