Best Coast * Spectrals live review

Posted on 2 September 2011
By Richard Lewis
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Slowly building up a considerable buzz since last year’s Crazy for You debut, Californians Best Coast played to a capacity crowd at Mojo.

With the bar rammed full front to back, the sweltering heat didn’t discourage those in front of the stage from pogoing.

Boyfriend, revolving around a beautifully simple guitar riff and keening vocals was possibly the high point of the set, the audience word-perfect throughout.

The crowd’s efforts won the singer’s approval as Bethany grinned, ‘I love seeing boys sing that song’ at the end of a massed chorus.

Despite claiming many of her lyrics concern weed, cats and being lazy, many of Bethany’s words largely focus on foundering relationships, the lyrics having the same direct simplicity of Phil Spector classics.

Crazy for You (no, not that one) and When I’m With You provided other highlights, with Bethany shouting ‘Bobb Bruno!’ before the guitarist stepped up for his axe solo.

Almost a digest of the best bits of female-fronted America alt. pop over the past two decades, Best Coast stamp their own imprint on the genre.

Encompassing the likes of The Breeders, Mazzy Star and Danish (now American) duo The Ravonettes, the trio stake out their own sonic terrain, the three piece remarkably full-sounding for a trio,

Several new songs, including Wish He Was You, were debuted all of which easily maintained the standard of last year’s lauded debut, paving the way for the eagerly awaited second helping.

Prior to the main attraction, ‘Coast label mates Spectrals took to the stage.

Despite having many of the same base elements as the headliners, the Leeds five-piece didn’t quite bring them together in the same effortless manner.

The tried and tested ingredients of thudding Wall of Sound drum intros, reverbed Fifties vocals and surf guitar riffs worked individually but failed to become more than the sum of their parts.

Consummately played throughout, the band certainly have a wealth of impressive influences present and correct in their sonic palette, but may need to work harder at focusing them into concise songs.

Photos by Adam Edwards