Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies. Bethany Cosentino and Bob Bruno, the duo behind Best Coast, have allowed the press material for their new album, Always Tomorrow, to contain references to The Go-Go’s, The B-52’s, Fleetwood Mac, The Bangles and the Talking Heads.
This is a problem for two main reasons. The first, and most pressing, is that these aren’t bands that you can throw around lightly – each of them has a dedicated fanbase, and using their name to promote a record suggests a guarantee of quality. Hell, not even David Byrne references Talking Heads when he’s releasing his new albums – he knows better.
Secondly, aside from opening track Different Light – which does sound a little bit like The B-52’s – the rest of the album sounds like varying shades of Weezer, with hints of The Lemonheads and Juliana Hatfield. Imagine the crushing disappointment of expecting greatness and ending up with generic indie pop.
Everything’s Changed sounds like Weezer’s Beverly Hills. For The First Time will remind you of mid-’90s radio pop (in a bad way). Despite a pounding start, Graceless Kids soon ends up running out of steam – owing in no small part to its riff, which is as bland and brittle as a Ryvita. Wreckage sounds like its made up of instrumental interludes from Friends – or borrowed from the closing credits of a Zach Braff movie. Rollercoaster promises The Breeders but delivers The Rogers Sisters. The rest of the album offers little else, sadly.
Best Coast have never, ever seemed to aspire to be one of the greats of modern rock music – and it really sucks to see them being misrepresented and oversold, probably to hide the fact that the album is listless and dull. The press material describes these songs as the best that Cosentino has ever written, which is actually opposite to the truth. Despite it taking four years to come out, pretty much all of the songs on Always Tomorrow are forgettable, and made up of riffs so basic and hooks so anonymous that you’ll probably end up wishing they’d have waited a little longer.