By Best Coast
'The Only Place' is the second offering by Los Angeles-based Surf-Pop band Best Coast. It is a mere two years since Best Coast burst onto the scene with their highly-rated debut 'Crazy For You', a fantastic cacophony of Bethany Consentino's unmistakable vocals, slacker pop melodies and fuzzed-up guitars. In 2010, killer cuts such as 'Boyfriend' and 'Crazy For You' found their way on to Indie-Rock playlists, riding on a wave of success for USA-based female-fronted acts including Warpaint and Beach House.
The lo-fi reverb-drenched production of 'Crazy For You' struck a particular clenched power-chord with punters as it seemed to perfectly accompany Consentino's lazy, but perfect melodies. Two years later, and Best Coast seem to have lost none of their ability to write a simple, but great pop song. Title-track 'The Only Place' shimmers like the Los Angeles beaches that it describes and 'My Life' is a beautiful soundtrack to the freedom of youth. It is unfortunately in other areas which this album eventually falls down; the production of 'The Only Place' is cleaner and brighter than its predecessor, recalling the Beach Boys rather than the garage rock bands that no doubt influenced their debut. The lack of overbearing production leaves room for further analysis of Consentino's lyrics which unfortunately similarly disappoint. The scream of 'We have fun, we have fun, we have fun' on 'The Only Place' seems to be taken from the Rebecca Black School of Song Writing, a place which no self respecting songwriter would ever want to be. Finally, it seems Consentino and co have made little attempt since their debut to change their songwriting style or develop their sound, at a length of 13 tracks at times the often formulaic and repetitive structuring of this record wears itself a little thin. It's not to say that this is a bad record, it's just a major disappointment given the quality and success of their debut. If only Best Coast had knuckled down and delivered an album which truly fulfilled their potential and ability. But hey, as they say on the West Coast, Surfs up!
Dum Dum Girls are a noise pop band which formed in 2008 in Los Angeles