Almost as annoying as the nonstop iTunes upgrades bombarding my operating system every three weeks is when some 20-year-old sets the internet afire about how so-and-so is the next big thing in music. Then I check it out and realize Neko Case did something like this 10 years ago. Damn you, Neko Case, your prescient taste has ruined all future music! On their debut album, LA’s Bethany Consentino (guitar and vocals), Bobb Bruno (multi-instrumentalist), and, most recently, Vivian Girls drummer Ali Koehler, update 1960s California harmonies à la New Pornographers, Case’s 13-year-old pop collective. Consentino’s vocals have Case’s sweet flatness and lyrics like “the other girl is not like me, she’s prettier and skinnier, she has a college degree, I dropped out when I was 17,” on “Boyfriend,” and various meditations on cats, unemployment, and weed echo Case’s wry confessionals. Best Coast’s originality comes from enveloping their songs in trendy lo-fi fuzz and adding a touch of surf rock, turning out tunes crunchier than New Pornographers’ slick sound. The album retains the head-bobbing silliness of those musicians’ most fun work, though, and that’s not a bad thing, even if Best Coast would rather credit it to the Beach Boys.
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