Best Coast

The Only Place

Mexican Summer

May 14, 2012 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Remember that friend who decided they'd just take a few years off to relax and "enjoy life"? They were fun to be around: they threw some rad parties and knew the number to call to get the dankest weed. The years go by and people moved on, but that old friend is still up to the same shenanigans. Except now it's getting worrisome. They'll have to show some forward progress sooner or laterwon't they?

Best Coast is in danger of becoming that hypothetical friend. Time-wise, it hasn't been all that long since the buzzed-over 2010 debut, Crazy For You, but in the hype-driven blog world, two years can be a long, long time. Since then half a dozen ballyhooed new bands have reappropriated the surf pop-influenced sound and taken it in different directions. Meanwhile, it's starting to feel like Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno are content to just coast (pun unintended).

What we have in this sequel is another short set of pleasantly vapid pop tunes produced under the influence of girl groups and ganja. The shambling guitar and beach bum chic vocals breeze by with healthy coatings of reverb and a sun-soaked vibe; lyrically, Cosentino's still pining away over boys, lazing away the days with idle musings, and boasting the joys of coastal living. Best Coast certainly didn't claim to be blazing trails the first time around, but here they're rarely meeting their own benchmarks. The Only Place is more polished than the debut, but its songs just aren't as catchy, and there aren't any new tricks being tested. The new album disregards the old rule: if you're not going to try something new, then at least try to do it better than the last time. It's not terrible, but it is a weaker effort. While the newest wave of retro-inspired acts have passed them by, Best Coast seem content to lay about in the sand and soak up the rays. (www.bestcoast.us)

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