My knowledge of pop-rock band Coasts up until now has led me to categorise them as one of those “up and coming” bands which you always see on promoted tweets and Facebook adverts; one of those bands that pushes so hard and relies heavily on the free marketing available via social media. They seem to have been pretty successful with all this: they’ve picked up around 96,000 Facebook ‘likes’, they’ve had the opportunity to tour internationally and they seem to be rather prominent on the 2016 summer festival circuit too.
However, my opinion of these types of social media bands has never been particularly favourable and unfortunately – in Coasts’ case – they have followed the criteria very closely. In terms of their actual musical material, it is so bland, safe and uninteresting and fearlessly contains all the indie/pop/alternative rock clichés. The singing style of the lead vocals are so shallowly emotional, heart-string pulling, badly exaggerated and just an irritating version of singing styles used in soul music. The music is overproduced and safely soaked in reverb with barely any contrast in the dynamics or texture. The vocal melodies are not only boring but incredibly similar, particularly in the choruses. The lyrics seem to mostly be some generic expression of affection to a significant other with a bunch of clichés that have little meaning. The extra instrumentation is so thrown together with all these synthesisers and pianos and it would seem like a nightmare to pull these songs off well live, particularly for audience members who were completely unfamiliar with the band. Furthermore, the album artwork is so painfully Instagram-esque.
Admittedly, there is an occasional catchy, hard-hitting drum beat (such as in ‘Lions’, possibly the most interesting song) and the reverbed guitars, chopped vocal samples (such as in ‘Wolves’) or the passion in the lead vocals against the instrumentals (such as in ‘You’) can be occasionally pleasing. I wish Coasts all the luck in the world with their current success but I can’t see them being taking particularly seriously by other critics who tend to go beyond what is recommended by Facebook adverts or promoted tweets to find new music.