Pocahaunted


(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )

Best Coast: Crazy For You (2010) , 6/10
Best Coast: The Only Place (2012), 5/10
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Los Angeles-based Pocahaunted, i.e. 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 Chains (2008), Island Diamonds (2008), Mirror Mics (2008), Peyote Road (2008), and 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), the full-length 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 Primitives. 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 and 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 Nika Danilova.

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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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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