Best Coast Beloved

24Apr15

I cannot explain it. I am in love with “Crazy For You” by Best Coast, and it’s completely anti-intellectual.

I have almost nothing in common with this band. By some comparison, I should actually dislike the band. It’s a duo with a lead singer, born and raised in California. They (by which I mean exclusively her) sing about lost love and half-hearted apologies, California, living in California, smoking pot (that’s the part that should annoy me most; I’m not a total prude, but I don’t smoke and above all I get annoyed at people who not only smoke, but go on and on about how great smoking is). Since there’s almost no variation between the songs, they all blend together. I go from singing “Something about the summer” to the chorus of “The End,” to the chorus of “Your Deal,” and it feels like it’s all one song. It feels like they wrote this 30-minute album about 30 minutes prior.

And yet, here I am. I’m listening to it at work with headphones, and I have the CD in my car for my drive home. It’s a half hour of absolute bliss, and that feeling comes solely from the music. These sounds work for me, at this moment.

I’ve read reviews (another symptom of my obsession), and the band bio from AllMusic thinks Best Coast is inspired by girl groups and surf music. I kind of see this, since they do sing about California (which has surfing), they use surf-ish guitars, and the singer is a girl. But that’s where it ends. The lyrics are so straight forward that they toe a line separating effective emotional honesty and stupidity. And maybe they’re both. Maybe it’s all primal. Whatever it is, there’s very little pretense with it, and the songs don’t seem to have the same doo-wop quality of girl groups from the 1960’s. This may be a stretch, but Best Coast’s actually gives me Nirvana vibe. Granted, I might be wanting to see this, because I’ve been on a serious year-long Nirvana kick, but follow me: Best Coast has a kind of stripped down sound, based around guitars. If Nirvana had taken their musical cues from the success of the “Unplugged” album and mellowed out a little bit, it might have sounded a little like this. Like “Pennyroyal Tea” and “Dumb.” At the very least, Best Coast (particularly “Crazy For You”) sounds like what some of the bands Cobain confessed to love, particularly the Vaselines and the Raincoats. Like I said, it’s a stretch, but I can see it.

The most logical way to link the two bands would be to say Best Coast is inspired by Nirvana, and that’s probably not true either. IT MAKES NO SENSE.

And I love it. I don’t know if I can recommend it to anyone, for all the reasons I’ve listed above. I tried to get my wife to like it, and she couldn’t get into the monotony of sound. But for me, there’s something about a drone. The Stones have it, Best Coast has it. It’s just a hum to hum along with, and that’s what I’ve been doing.

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