Best Coast – Always Tomorrow (Album Review)

Best Coast – Always Tomorrow (Album Review)

One of the buzz bands in the Alternative Rock/Indie Pop scene of the mid-2010s, whose last offering was 2015’s successful California Nights, Best Coast is returning with its much-awaited followup.

Formed in 2009, in Los Angeles, California, United States, Best Coast consists of Bethany Consentino (songwriting/vocals/guitar/piano) and Bobb Bruno (guitar/bass/keyboards/drums). In its 11-year activity, the duo has issued three proper albums—2010’s angst-ridden, Lo-Fi affair Crazy for You; 2012’s more polished The Only Place; and 2015’s party-vibed, Dance Pop–inspired California Nights. Now, Consentino and Bruno are ready to be a part of the purveyors of the new era’s music, with a new album five years in the making.

Slated for release on February 21st, 2020, via Concord Records, Best Coast’s forthcoming album, titled Always Tomorrow, is definitely a breath of fresher air and more upbeat mood. It opens with the Alternative Rock energy-filled “Different Light,” and then followed by the subtle Grunge rocker “Everything Has Changed,” which vibes off similar sunshine sensibilities of Best Coast’s fellow Californians Weezer (“Beverly Hills”).

The single-material, mid-tempo ballad “For the First Time” then plays next—a standout with its distinctive Oriental flute–sounding keyboard melody, which may remind the initiated of The Mo’s “Asia,” Alphaville’s “Big in Japan,” and Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Chinese Whispers.” Albeit still in Pop mode, the ensuing “Graceless Kids” gives again the listener a dose of subtly distorted guitars. The edgier “Wreckage” then dives into the ’80s New Wave sound, reminiscent of bands like The Go-Go’s (“We Got the Beat”), The March Violets (“Turn to the Sky”), and The Primitives (“Crash”). “Rollercoaster,” on the other hand, is a nod to ’90s Alternative Rock; it will not be out of place alongside classics in the said genre by Juliana Hatfield (“Universal Heart-Beat”), Garbage (“Stupid Girl”), Belly (“Feed the Tree”), and The Breeders (“Divine Hammer”).

A New Wave-influenced track comes next in the form of the angular guitar-charged “Master of My Own Mind,” which is glazed with interesting mid-song Progressive elements. Best Coast then turns playful and melodramatic with the ’60s Sunny Pop-inspired “True.” The following “Seeing Red” is a further proof that Always Tomorrow does not fail to shine at par with its predecessors; Post-Punk/New Wave/Synthpop music enthusiasts will surely go head over heels with this track.

Consentino and Bruno then launch into the wistful “Make It Last”—a fuzzbox of sunburst delight and infectious vocal harmonies. Finally, they wrap up their latest offering aptly with a slow Shoegaze stomper, “Used to Be,” riding on the saccharine vapor trails of the swirl of delectable guitar sugarcoats.

After listening to Always Tomorrow, many followers of Best Coast, especially those who are quite familiar with its discography, will surely hail the duo’s new album as the best so far. And it is. Always Tomorrow is a blend of everything that Best Coast has come up with in the previous decade. Consentino was being candid, honest, and truthful when she said, “This album is about leaving the darkness for the light….” Because Always Tomorrow is full of heartrending yet reassuring sentiments glazed in sunny, shiny, and sugary musicality. Cryptic Rock gives it 4 out of 5 stars.

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aLfie vera mella
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Born in 1971, in Metro Manila, Philippines, aLfie vera mella is a healthcare worker, singer/songwriter, and editor/writer. He was the frontman of the ’90s-peaking Philippine Alternative Rock / New Wave band Half Life Half Death, which released a full-length album and several singles on Viva Records. aLfie worked at Diwa Scholastic Press as an editor/writer of academic textbooks and supplementary magazines, focusing on Science & Technology and English Grammar & Literature. In 2003, aLfie migrated to Canada; he has since been living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He works full-time at a healthcare institution, while serving as the associate contributing editor of Filipino Journal—a local community newspaper in Winnipeg—tackling Literature, Languages, Cultures, Lifestyles, and Music. aLfie has been a music journalist since the mid-’90s for various print magazines as well as websites. He started writing album reviews for Cryptic Rock in 2015. In 2016, aLfie published Part One (Literature & Languages and Their Cultural Significance) of his Essay Series, Can You Hear the Sound of a Falling Leaf?; in 2021, his first book of poetry, Pag-íhip sa Dáhon ng Kahápon [Blowing Leaves of Yesterday]. In his spare time, he enjoys reading books and listening to music. aLfie is a dedicated father to his now 13-year-old son, Evawwen; and a loving husband to Kathryn Mella, who herself moonlights also as a writer aside from holding a degree in Bachelor of Arts, Major in Sociology.

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