BEST COAST Crazy For You (Wichita)

I had read a fair bit about Best Coast before I got this, and most of it seemed to centre on singer and songwriter Beth Cosentinos marihuana intake and the fact that she is the archetypal stoner chick. So I wasnt really prepared for the great West Coast pop that she has produced, especially lead track and recent single Boyfriend. With its catchy chorus, harmony vocals and Spector-ish production it is the perfect introduction the band. The title track is another pop gem, marking out Beth as a one-woman Ronettes all echo-laden vocals and soaring melodies laid down under a raucous garage beat. Goodbyes thudding beat also brings to mind the way that The Jesus And Mary Chain would hide some great tunes under a barrage of guitar and drums, and with Beths vocals buried in the mix it makes you work just that little bit harder to appreciate the tune. Summer Mood and Our Deal provide a bit of breathing space after a slew of up-tempo rockers, but then I Want You ups the ante again, with a great 60s-style girl-group outing all 4/4 rhythms and tambourine flourishes, before the band break into a run for the final minute of the song. When The Sun Dont Shine and Bratty B storm along at a cracking pace, and Honey has the thudding JAMC drums again, with Beths voice soaring over them on another highlight of this album. Happy doubles the pace but halves the word-count the lyrics being mostly Im happy, youre happy but once again she pulls it off and you cant help tapping your foot along to it. Each & Everyday follows on with hardly a breath between them, and When Im With You rounds off this surprisingly short record (13 tracks in a tad over half an hour) with another great melodic garage rocker. While Cosentino has been criticised for the simplicity of her lyrics (and I suppose you have to bear in mind that she is stoned most of the time when she is writing them), you cant deny that the music really lifts your spirits, and while at the moment it might owe just a little too much to the classic girl groups of the 60s, if we give her time I am sure that she will develop into an accomplished songwriter. So, for the moment enjoy her fledgling steps on this great summery pop album.