The first time I heard Best Coast I was green with envy. This was the music I had wanted to make when I was sixteen. At that time I was listening a lot to Bikini Kill, Hole and Sleater-Kinney. I never managed to pick up a guitar and now I see why: I was afraid to turn sour, cynical and frustrated, just as the girls from these bands were. Though it might be easy to file away Bethany Cosentino with screamers like Courtney Love and Kathleen Hanna, she’s got much more to offer than that. Along with bands like Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls and Frankie Rose & The Outs, Best Coast offers a disarming naiveté and sincerity that has been long lost in popmusic. The scuzzy lo-fi production, the echoing drums and overdose of reverb may hide that at first, but when you hear Cosentino sing The other girl is not like me she’s prettier and skinnier / She has a college degree, I dropped out when I was seventeen / If only I could get her out of the picture / Then he would know how much I want him in the song Boyfriend without a hint of irony you cannot help but empathize. Where sixties girl groups like The Ronettes sang pleadingly about boys full of giddy hope, Beth Cosentino knows she won’t get what she wants, but either way still tries. And you’ve got to admire her for that.
Image: Best Coast Sun Was High (So Was I) 7″ released by Art Fag Recordings