Best Coast “Fade Away”


Best Coast

Fade Away

{Jewel City; 2013}


by Jordan Bohannon

The Duo of Bob Bruno and Bethany Consentino have been in the industry for what feels like forever, but in reality, their first 7”s popped up only four short years ago. The arc of their career spanning from their origins as LA heroes and regulars at The Smell, to their becoming Internet-hyped indie celebrities off the buzz of the now classic Crazy for You. Then there was Bethany Consentino’s pop-culture relevance that invoked comparisons to a perma-baked Zooey Deschanel and the terrible 2012 album The Only Place.

Fast forward to now. It would be easy to trash the new best coast mini-album, Fade Away, and before the release, I was indifferent to its release. However, Fade Away rocks in a way that best coast hasn’t in a long time. On Fade Away, it seems as though Best Coast listened to their fans and critics alike.  The Fuzz is there, the lyrics are honest again, and simplicity is back. Everything that made The Only Place so terrible is long gone. While Fade Away definitely does not have the same sun-soaked and half-baked feel as Crazy for You, it is definitely a maturation of the sound.

The songs on Fade Away are arguably downers. Self-criticism and loneliness are reoccurring themes throughout the duration of the album. The songs never reach the tempo of those on previous albums, and its no real surprise that the color scheme of the album resembles the hues of sleeping medicine advertisements. “Who Have I Become?” and “I Don’t Know How” are stand out tracks on am overall strong release. Singer/Songwriter Bethany Consentino has started to broaden her scope; it sounds as though the biggest influence for Fade Away was the Dum Dum Girls’ epic “Coming Down.” Best Coast has forgone the pop-punk 3 power chord song structures in favor of more thought out songs, while still managing to maintain and air of simplicity; something that very few bands have been able to do.

Best Coast needed this; one could argue that the future of their career and their relevance depended on it.  Fade Away was a strong comeback for Best Coast, and an indicator that they are here to stay. Consentino has started her own label, Jewel City, which will presumably release future Best Coast efforts. Best Coast have taken control of their future. By doing away with the glossy production and pseudo-country twang, Best Coast is beckoning back to their roots. While they will probably never release an album as good as Crazy For You again, the fact that they are still releasing good music is a triumph.