Meet The Coastals, a Washington DC based indie/punk band who have had a pretty busy year! First up was their top notch “Stand Up” EP, four tracks and just over 10 minutes of craftsmenship showcasing talented instrumentation and intricate songwriting. They’ve recently (ish) followed that up with a 7 track covers EP, punnily (oh dear) named “Under The Covers”. More about that later however, as I’d like to start at the beginning, usually as good a place as any…
The Coastals are Drew Champion (vocals/guitar/keyboard), Andre Pagliarini (bass/back-up vocals) and Will Dobud (drums). “Stand Up” was released way back in January, if you’ve heard it already then you’ll know it’s more than worth a quarter of an hour of your time, if you haven’t, well, I guess that’s where we come in!
First up on the EP is the title track and the band waste no time in grabbing your attention. From the striking powerchords that kick the whole thing off to the pugnacious vocals, “Stand Up” sweeps you away from the start, so much so that you forget this rich sound is coming from just 3 guys, a drum and a couple of guitars. “Delay” seems to finish before it even begins, probably due to a number of factors. Namely the (relatively) long and rising instrumentals interspersed with Champions’s vocals which seem to skip atop aforementioned instrumentals, coupled with a vervaciousness that means 2:34 passes very quickly. “Reckless” shows a rather more introspective facet of The Coastals’ sound. The opening is a stripped back affair, a broken down drum beat coupled with striking bass guitar and followed by vocals that seem more adhesive than at any other point in this enjoyable four track jaunt. Lyrically Champion makes some interesting points too, but I’ll leave you to disentangle and decipher those! Whilst on the subject of lyrics, the closer “Because Of This” sees my favourite line of the EP “So it’s one of those nights again, the one’s that leave you starving for the sun.” It also appears that all of the energy saved in the comparitively withdrawn, and as such oxymoronically titled, “Reckless”, is unleashed without abandon to finish the EP in throughly enjoyable fashion. Gone is the restrained bass guitar and drum beat, replaced with a good old fashioned thrash, although to call it as such is to do Pagliarini and Dobud an injustice, as red-blooded as the instrumental may be it is still well thought out and effective. “Because Of This” see’s a change in vocal timbre, leaning more towards punkish passion and vigour, you can hear it at the bottom, together with the preceding “Reckless”.
Now to “Under The Covers”. As of yet I’ve not had all that much of a listen, personally I prefer to hear a bands own work, especially when it’s as good as “Stand Up”. That however is not to say that a covers EP is in anyway easy, if anything taking on the likes of The Beatles and The Clash is more daunting than releasing your own work. I can also see how a covers EP allows a band to reach a larger audience and give some of their music away. So all in all “Under The Covers” is pretty admirable both as a concept, and, so far as my limited listening would suggest, sound. So check it out HERE (go on, just click it)
Did I mention that The Coastals have also released an LP, including the four tracks on the EP, plus, in their own words “a lot of songs that are just balls-out punk rock. The songs that really capture nihilism and frustration and confusion are on the full length.” (via Whats The Ruckus). The LP is up on their soundcloud @ http://soundcloud.com/thecoastals/sets/the-coastals-the-coastals/
The Coastals – Because Of This [right-click to download]
The Coastals – Reckless [right-click to download]