Best Coast and Spectrals - Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Tue 30 Aug
Not so sunny garage pop when played live
It’s easy to see why Best Coast take Spectrals on tour with them every time they come to Europe: the Leeds-based band’s sound mirrors that of their LA buddies in almost every way – up to the bit where the singer is a insouciant lad from Heckmondwick instead of an insouciant lass from the sunshine state. But while the sound is polished and each song starts off in a promising surf rock vein, the pace soon lags and this set becomes one forgettable plod after another about how girls are mean when you’re seventeen.
It’s with hope, then for some of the evocative, lazy garage pop of debut album Crazy for You that we await the Edinburgh debut of Best Coast. Unfortunately, while Ali Koehler’s drumming has plenty of vim, the set as a whole comes across as poserish routine, dogged by a crushing lack of energy (possibly something to do with frontwoman Bethany Cosentino’s recent illness, which saw a week of dates across Europe cancelled). The heavily produced melodious surfer vibes of the album lose their pep live, with the biggest culprit Cosentino’s voice, which struggles tonight to carry a tune. On record, the levity of the sound is an effective counterpoint to the slightly repetitive lyrical themes of waiting by the phone for unattainable boys on skateboards; here, though, it all feels a bit one note – and that note is flat.