Live Review: Best Coast

3 May

Coalition: Monday, May 2 2011

Welcome to a four chord, hour-long wank bank for floppy haired boys on Brighton seafront.

Best Coast, the Californian three-piece fronted by the impeccably cool Bethany Cosentino, are in town on the final night of their European tour and every male under the age of 21 is seemingly fixated by her.

From the outset Cosentino has them, and most of the rest of the bumper crowd, in the palm of her hand.

She giggles, they swoon, she says ‘fuck off’, they cheer, she mumbles some inaudible sentences, ‘you fucking would, wouldn’t you?’, says the charmer behind me.

Cosentino may be responsible for countless all-consuming teenage crushes but she and her band lack any genuine spark, style or sound to justify such wet-dream devotion.

I’m not saying that Best Coast are atrocious, not by any means, and they occasionally reveal the odd glimpse of class to explain why there are plenty of people here who are more concerned with sounds than sights.

The sing-along, A-list radio tune ‘Boyfriend’ is a scuzzy pop belter and ‘Gone Again’ is a bouncy new number where snappy vocals are delightfully interspersed by soothing ooohs and aaahs, but both serve to show-up the rest of their songs for what they are; sugar-coated lo-fi indie B-sides at best.

The major problem, though, is that there’s something about  Best Coast which doesn’t ring true. It’s style (so-called) over substance. They want to sell a slacker, too cool to give a fuck attitude, but their live show lacks the chaos, carnage and creativity of bands who really know how to let loose.

Cosentino knows she has the ability to work a crowd, but she needs to have more than a devilish glare, half-cut grin and off-kilter vocals if her band are going to progress

If this music was from an act fronted by a shellsuit-wearing fat fella from Wigan with a hooter the size of Brighton pier and a gut as wide as a fat camp failure, then very few people would care.

Best Coast? Average at most.


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