Best Coast - The Only Place
If, like us, your life is so empty that you sometimes find yourself whiling away five or ten minutes among society's detritus (aka internet messageboards) you may have noticed the less-than-stellar reception the follow up to 2010's Crazy For You has had from the early 20-somethings. This is where we pat them patronisingly on the quiff and tell them to go away and come back when they've grown a moustache. Have Best Coast done anything revelatory here? Of course not. Is The Only Place sweet and, most importantly, fun? Sure. Anyone expecting anything more substantial is surely borderline delusional.
The Only Place sees Beth Cosentino and Bobb Bruno continue with the subtle softening of their earlier surf rock edges, with the overall air quite Rilo Kiley - albeit with more outright populist intent. Everything you need to know is there in the title track, a continuation of Cosentino's romance with California ("Why would you live anywhere else?" she ponders), all set against the finest jangle pop this side of the Rockies. The musical journey takes few detours along the way, with only the wonderful 'How They Want Me To Be' (straight out of the Hairspray misunderstood teen ballad songbook) and 'Dreaming My Life Away''s tiki lounge sway straying too much from the basic formula. To complain is to believe AC/DC missed a trick by not going country now and again.
Lyrically, there are no great revelations. Anyone familiar with the Brill Building's output will recognise the diet of boyfriends, girlfriends and summer sun; it's classic pop fare in other words - although not without the occasional aside of 21st century angst ("My Mom was right / I don't wanna die" from 'My Life' being a touchingly simple sentiment.)
Our instinct is that Best Coast might become a girls band, one of those acts that women just like at face value, rather than bothering to ask for the boys' permission. Those who prefer the early 7"s can fetishize them all they want, but The Only Place is an unpretentious collection that turns a grey sky blue.