COAST – s/t (2018)


And now for something different: Jazz for people who don’t like jazz.

COAST’s music might be better shared without the use of the word ‘jazz’ if the goal were to find new ears and audiences outside that scene. One could call it lounge-prog, math-funk, alt-post-soul or a whole bunch of other combinations. Putting labels aside, this is really smooth and musically proficient stuff that twists and turns, grooves, riffs and soothes. On the flip side COAST get a little crazy and noisy too which is just the kind of crazy I was hoping for.

(*rant warning*)

Now..I like Jazz but will often pass over titles & artists because that wet-blanket term is used far too liberally and you really can’t decipher what type of jazz you’re getting from such a narrow descriptor. Similarly we can pigeon hole a band as ‘rock’ but completely fail to describe them. As if describing a tree as ‘wooden’ will give you a comprehensive understanding of what type of tree it is? So to bring it back on topic: this is a ‘jazz’ record, the shoe fits. BUT that does not cover it.

Drums are ridiculous. The different sounds, patterns and pacing is just next level. The use of various acoustic sounds from the kit is unreal, the rimshots and ghost-hits are divine. The dude is a serious player. All class.

The guitar competes with the keys for the lead and the tension is undeniable. Whilst not a rock tone, but still generously overdriven and the notes/chords push through the mix and past the keys to the front. At any given moment though a crash of the cymbals or an accent from the keys can bury them again. It had me paying attention the entire time, every time. Fascinating dynamics.

The deep bass/keys and the smooth tones are really well done. It may be compressed to all-hell but the way it can gliss up and drop down without too much distinction between notes is sublime. Sitting tightly in the pocket with the drums and supporting the chord movements on felt like I was listening to a whole new way of approaching keys and bass parts in the context of a band. Switching between lead and rhythm without so much as a blip. Unreal.

Sax makes some solid appearances, at times as a feature and at other points just as part of the whole. When I hear it I think ‘damn this dude shreds’ similar to a guitar in a prog/math band.’s sax. There’s riffs and repeated parts for your ears to latch on to. There’s great play between the members with melodies and time signatures. The band doesn’t play a million things a second, though they probably could melt your brain like that. This is more like a fusion of pretty-indie-math-rock done by a bunch of super talented music school graduates who listened to way too much D.I.G. and Supergroove as kids.

If I didn’t know and trust the label (referring to AAC), I wouldn’t have given this a chance. I would have sadly missed out on one of the most surprising releases of 2018 so far. This is unreal fun and a very fresh take on the genre. I have already jammed this through 17 times so far according to iTunes..I expect a lot more will follow.


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