‘Super Wild Horses’ & ‘Best Coast’ (Deluxe) Review
Simplicity is a good thing. Yes, an intricately made piece of art can be absolutely astonishing, but the ability to make elegantly simple is something that is hard to come by. Luckily for me the drought of good albums has finally ended and today I’m going to do a double review because these two albums (although made from different countries and totally different scenes) are so similar and comparisons (albeit unfair) are everywhere.
The two bands in question are Best Coast and (Melbourne’s own) Super Wild Horses, releasing ‘Crazy For You’ and ‘Fifteen’ respectively.
Super Wild Horses have been somewhat of a go-to support act in the Melbourne live music scene, supporting fellow Melbournian acts like The Drones and Eddy Current Suppression Ring, they have put there name out there and have generated a good amount of hype around the place.
Fifteen is their debut album and it was produced by Mikey Young, who some may know as the guitarist of Eddy Current Suppression Ring. As mentioned before, simplicity and good songwriting are the key to this album, the musicianship is not amazing, but that’s not the point. It’s the minimalism that really shines and gives the album something more than the average album. Here’s a band that seem like they’re having a great time playing good music and it just emanates from the band, and in the process the music has caught this feeling.
Super Wild Horses are a two-piece that switch between guitar and drums halfway through their set, it’s quite weird to witness, but somehow it works. The two female vocals are one of the best assets of the band and they really lift the band up from being an average band to a really good band.
The album starts with a ONE!TWO!THREE!FOUR! and straight away the listener is hooked completely by the single note guitar riff that follows. As soon as you hear yourself entrenched in ‘Lock & Key’, and until the final note you’re still hooked by that single note riff. It really sets the scene for the rest of the album and provides a sort of front cover that really shows everyone what to expect. Short in length at only 2 minutes and 28 seconds (the whole album is twelve tracks and still less than half an hour), it says what it has to say and then quickly goes it’s own way (the rhyme is definitely not intended).
This isn’t album for people with long attention spans and fans of soundscape and progressive rock, it’s for people who just want a a quick fix, and thats why I love this album, it’s not trying to be anything it isn’t. They aren’t trying to be virtuoso’s on the instruments and they aren’t trying to pretend that they can write super deep lyrical songs. They just tried to make a good album, and succeeded.
Eddy Current fans will absolutely love this and more than likely know about the band already, but if you are one of the unlucky few to have missed the boat with this band, jump on soon when there’s room on an ever growing bandwagon.
Reviewers Pick: “Lock & Key”
Stand-out Tracks: “Lock & Key”, “Fifteen”, “Goldentown”
For those who aren’t familiar with the band, Best Coast is a Californian garage rock act, made up of three members. If you delve deeper into the band members’ history, you find that the frontwoman Bethany Cosentino used to be in a band called “Pocahaunted”. The now-drummer for Best Coast (Ali Koehler) was part of the “Vivian Girls” as well.
I find Best Coast very reminiscent of Japandroids (who released one of my favourite albums of last year, “Post-Nothing”), they are a different sounding band but the feel is the same, they’re both lo-fi bands whose lyrics are very simplistic and have a very fun vibe to them. In fact, if I use one of my infamous “description by use of other bands” method, I would call Best Coast a mix of Japandroids and The Beach Boys. While I’m on the subject of lyrics “Best Coast” are quite interesting, it basically follows the same sort of concept throughout the album and I’m not going to try to explain it too much because it’s summed up best by frontwoman Bethany Cosentino, who said the lyrics are “about weed and my cat and being lazy a lot”.
There are a number of seriously catchy songs here and in particular ‘Boyfriend’ is infectious. The production and general mixing of the song is astounding and turns an overly simple song into a song that sounds simple but is in fact quite intricate. ‘Happy’ is another song that’s just great, I challenge anyone to listen to this song and be sad.
There hasn’t been too many great albums this year, but ‘Crazy For You’ is starting to really grow on me, and is becoming one of my favourite albums along with Teen Dream and Before today, by Beach House and Ariel Pink respectively. It’s the catchy songs that I love and also the fact that it’s not overambitious (and never could be), instead it’s just good simple music put together in an album and it seems to work.
As for a rating, it get a solid 8.6/10 from me and I’m sure the album’s going to grow on me even more. I really do recommend this album to anyone, because it is universal in that it’s just so damn catchy.
Reviewers Pick: “Boyfriend”
Stand-out Tracks: “Happy”, “Boyfriend”, “When The Sun Don’t Shine”