Madame Jo Jo's, Soho
Does Best Coast believe in the saying “less is more”? It’s hard to tell. On the one hand, her whole schtick – bedroom-y, feedback-laden guitar pop without luxuries like bass lines or middle 8s – is endearingly and engagingly minimalist. Tonight, however, she seems intent on bombarding us with as many songs as possible, hoping that at least one or two will stick. The new, fast-paced pop punk gem ‘Far away’ is a highlight, as is the meandering sing-a-long ‘Make you mine’. A lot of the new songs aren’t as immediate though, and the set’s length means that they tend to drift in and out of each other with little momentum. Bethany Cosentino’s vocals, luckily, are strong throughout, cutting through the air like a Swiss army knife, while her adventurously coiffed guitarist’s fuzzy licks more than make up for the lack of a bass player. Just because the topical ground covered in her lyrics (her liking boys, some boys not liking her) would fit on the back of a matchbox and the 45-minute set consists of variations of basically two tempos and four melodies, it doesn’t mean that the gig is boring, but you do wonder what cutting the set short by 10 minutes and one or two new songs would have done.
By Matthias Scherer
Originally published in issue 17 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. May 2010