Best Coast crashed onto the scene in 2009, with a flurry of singles and EPs that lulled us to recall 60s girl groups like the Shangri-Las. Luckily, the group’s debut album, Crazy For You, keeps riding that great lo-fi, surf-rock sound.
With its simple instrumentation of drums, no bass, and two (two!) undistorted, jingle-jangle guitars, Crazy For You is the crown jewel of a year’s worth of surf-rock revivalists who’ve gained acclaim from critics and fans. Best Coast, Girls, Wavves, and Real Estate share similar themes, from palm trees and cats to heartache and weed. All of their music follows one basic principal—when in doubt, just turn the reverb up.
I could pull this album apart lyrically, trying to find underlying meanings, but it would be counter-intuitive. Crazy For You is easy to enjoy because it’s so refreshingly low-concept. Little about this release challenges the listener. Hell, at a bite-sized 31 minutes, it’s not even long.
At its core, Crazy For You is likable because it sounds like anybody could produce it. It’s lo-fi with a capital… LF. But, Best Coast carries the sound with a subtle, confident nonchalance that few of us can imitate. With almost nary a hiccup—aside from the dreary “Honey”—this album will be near the top of many best-of lists when December rolls around.
When listening to Best Coast (and generally, California pop), there’s nothing to “get.” No confusing concepts, no highbrow shtick, no over the top what-have-you. And why would you need it?
In la-la land, the only thing you need is the beach.