Reviewed by Andrew Scott
As I write this review I’m sat on Malibu Beach, enjoying a nice cold beer after a long day surfing in the California sunshine. At least that’s what it feels like after listening to the new album, California Nights, by Surf Rock duo Best Coast.
This is the third record by the Californian band and their sound has certainly progressed since their initial 2009 offering Crazy For You. Better production and an ever-increasing confidence in lead singer Bethany Consentino’s vocals make this their strongest record to date. The album opens with Feeling OK, its guitar intro setting the scene nicely. The song perfectly demonstrates the bands mix of surf pop Beach Boys vocals with the pop punk sound of bands such as Weezer and Blink 182. The first stand out song is Heaven Sent. It’s dreamy pop hooks are matched by multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno’s powerful drumming. Bruno’s drumming is more prominent than ever and it certainly helps to bring the album to life. When Will I Change is a showcase of Consentino’s vocal abilities and her exquisite harmonies. The next stand out track is California Nights. The song perfectly captures the image of driving through Malibu on a sultry summers evening. The last song Waste of Mind is a bit more introspective but shows the band are capable of more than just up-tempo surf rock numbers.
This is really strong album. The hooks are great, the vocal harmonies beautiful and every song is great fun to listen to. Maybe with a couple of truly outstanding songs this could have been a classic. The future looks as bright as the California sunshine for Best Coast though and this record could be one of the hits of the summer. I personally can’t wait to see them live at Dot To Dot Festival in Nottingham next weekend.
Recommended song: Heaven Sent