It’s fair to say that Coasts are having a moment right now; it seems like debut single Oceans is never off Radio One and it’s easy to see why. A slick, summery beat partnered with singer Chris Caines’ echoey shouts of that irresistible chorus surely marks Coasts as the band to listen to to welcome the summer sun. Putting the song as the title track is a brave move that sadly doesn’t pay off; the songs that follow all stick to the ‘winning formula’ that Coasts have found and the album is too polished, lacking the risks that can be afforded on a debut.
The repetition is not limited to the anthemic tone either. Cries of “oh, oh, oh” are evident on almost every song and the phrase “holding on” is featured heavily also. The latter may have been forgotten had the songs it features predominately on not been successive (Wolves and You). The Modern Love intro raises your hopes for change but they are dashed as that familiar beat kicks in. The song not only shares the same name as the Bowie song but is reminiscent of it, causing the song to fall flat in the face of such a hit. There’s a particular drop in quality with Lions‘ tediousness, though Stay and A Rush Of Blood show this to be short lived – both of these tracks show Coasts at their best, and show why there’s so much promise to them.
The latter half of the album is almost a reflection of the first, with the last three songs sounding although you’ve already heard them. None does this apply to more than the album closer Tonight, which shares exactly the same melody as the opener. Whether this is done intentionally or the band wanted to ensure the album ended with a high is unclear but it marks the band as lazy and stagnant.
Overall, the album is a decent one although it has all the hallmarks of one that is too polished and too perfect. The influences of The 1975, The Wombats and Chvrches are all too clear and whilst these bands brought something new to the game, Coasts fail to do so. Let’s just hope that, like their inspirations, Coasts can evolve into something better than their debut belies.
For fans of: Lisbon, Saint Raymond, Bad Suns
Words by Clara Duffy
‘Coasts’ by Coasts is out now on Tidal Recordings.