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Best Coast

Crazy For You

[Mexican Summer; 2010]

By ; July 19, 2010 

Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

The end of July is an awkward time for the young. By now, you’ve reunited with friends at home. You’ve been to the beach a couple times and seen the sequels to all the Hollywood blockbusters. The relentless sun starts to wear you out. The precious free time you anticipated for countless spring weeks has turned stale with boredom, and the novelty is almost completely gone, along with the weed. The only thing on your mind is that new summer romance that has you waiting by the phone every night.

If any of this rings true, odds are you will enjoy Best Coast’s first full-length Crazy For You. The band’s debut oozes with heat (and drug)-induced lethargy and youthful infatuation. After releasing two well-received EPs, Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno honed their chill surf pop sound, beefed up the production and now deliver 13 songs filled with carefree, California sunshine. On their more upbeat songs, they sound like a female-fronted version of The Drums – if The Drums were more influenced by Jesus and Mary Chain than the Smiths.

With a bunch of free time on her hands, Cosentino makes her summer fling her full-time job this season, and l.o.v.e. is the only thing on her brain. “I wish he was my boyfriend. I’d love him till the very end, but instead he is just a friend,” Cosentino sings on laid-back reverb-heavy opener “Boyfriend.” But the relationship quickly progresses. By the next song and title track, “Crazy For You,” Cosentino struggles between wanting to either hit or kiss her new love interest, who is already driving her crazy.

The album also centers around another four-letter L word: lazy. “I can’t get myself off the couch. I don’t wanna talk to anyone else… I lost my job. I miss my mom. I wish my cat could talk,” Cosentino sings, in the vein of Karen O, on stand-out “Goodbye.” The lyrics of most of the songs border on the obsessive, but she’s just being honest. Her words are more often than not charmingly simple. Even when the mood turns dark with the fuzzy “Honey,” the lyrics remain sunny.

Early single “When I’m With You,” which is tacked on to the album as a bonus track, is still one of their best songs and most accurate representation of the Best Coast sound with its tempo shifts, jangly guitars and a super catchy chorus fit with signature girl-group “ohs” and “ahs.”

The songs fly by as fast as the summer months with the longest track barely reaching the three-minute mark. Some of the tracks toward the middle of the album, such as “Summer Mood” and “Our Deal” suffer from the same lack of energy our subject does. Cosentino repeats the same three or four lines for two and a half minutes, and at times the formula is monotonous.

She seems to notice this on “I Want To,” which starts like many of the other songs but picks up half-way through as she sings, “I want to go back to the first time, the first place.” She wants to return to the beginning of summer, when things were still new and exciting. Unfortunately, this relationship isn’t the only thing that loses its cool after a while. But if the worst criticism you can make about the album is that there’s no surprise that one playful, mid-tempo garage-rock tune will follow the next, you still have a great beach listen on your hands.


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