the prolific duo of Amanda Brown, Bethany Cosentino,
coined hyper-psychedelic music that had some great ideas but diluted throughout
too many amateurish recordings, starting with the cassettes
Moccasinging (2006) and
What the Spirit Tells Me (2006), via the many CD-Roms such as
Pocahaunted (2007), finally arriving at the albums
Island Diamonds (2008),
Mirror Mics (2008),
Peyote Road (2008),
Passage (Troubleman, 2009).
Bethany Cosentino also formed Best Coast with Bobb Bruno and drummer Ali Koehler.
After the EPs Make You Mine (Group Tightener, 2009),
Where The Boys Are (Blackest Rainbow, 2009), and
Something In The Way (Post Present Medium, 2010),
album Crazy For You (Mexican Summer, 2010)
resurrected the summery refrains of surf music and the girl-groups
that made the career of later British bands such as the
La's and the
Recycled to the digital generation, the spunky refrain and anguished heartbreak
of Boyfriend and Bratty B sound completely out of context.
The breezy Crazy For You borrows both the tone and the "uh uh" chorus
of the ye-ye girls of the Sixties.
The dreamy singalong The End is a carbon copy of the bittersweet
serenades of the teenage idols of the early 1960s.
The single When I'm With You is a cross between the jangling sound of the
Byrds and the party music of female rock'n'roll.
Alas, Cosentino's romantic ballads (of which they are quite a few,
from Our Deal to Honey)
are just about as tedious as they used to be when
they were sang by tv stars who are now in their 70s.
Only at the very end, in Happy
Each And Everyday,
does the music evokes a more rocking version of
this revivalist show, something like
Katrina And The Waves, but it lasts less
than two minutes.
She can be the poster child for the consequences of
dropping out of school, smoking weeds and sleeping around: you end up
recycling the music of your grandparents.
Best Coast's guitarist Bobb Bruno,
a former member of the Polar Goldie Cats and also a member of
heavy-metal outfit Goliath Bird Eater, debuted solo with
the atmospheric instrumental and vocal vignettes of
Mellowdramas (Sleeping Giant Glossolalia, 2011).
He then switched to industrial-metal music for
Submissions' debut album
Submissions (Kill Shaman, 2012),
a collaboration with Paul Kneejie of Bipolar Bear.
LA Vampires, the solo project of Amanda Brown, sculpted
desolate dubby digital soundscapes on works such as
So Unreal (Not Not Fun, 2010), a collaboration with Matrix Metals,
and Meets Zola Jesus (Not Not Fun, 2010), a collaboration with
A sturdier and more linear sound permeates
Pocahaunted's final album,
Make It Real (Not Not Fun, 2010). A new line-up with three vocalists
penned the single Threshold (Not Not Fun).
Best Coast's The Only Place (2012) simplified Cosentino's strategy:
just her voice set on a stage of stereotypical retro-melodies and slow
retro-rhythms (Dreaming My Life Away, Up All Night and especially in
the romantic No One Like You, worthy of the French ye-ye girls of the 1960s).
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