Album Review: Coasts - ‘This Life’

Friday 18th August will mark the release date of Bristol five-piece Coasts’ second album ‘This Life’, a follow up to their 2016 eponymous debut and preceding a mammoth 38-date tour throughout the rest of the year, which will take in every corner of the UK. Their debut album received mixed reviews it must be said – singles such as ‘Oceans’ and ‘You’ received great acclaim and were particularly suited to live performances; however, the first release definitely left fans feeling as though there was more to come.

‘This Life’ begins, as did their debut record, very strongly. ‘Take Me Home’ as a song seems to epitomise everything that Coasts are as an indie-rock group, and immediately draws a listener into the album (not to mention the outstanding music video!). As a band who found their strengths more in gritty pop melody as opposed to lyrics, ‘Come On Over’ serves as a surprise exception, a track which gels together rhythmically and lyrically to serve as the absolute stand-out highlight on the record.

Other songs, such as ‘Heart Starts Beating’, ‘Paradise’ and ‘Make It Out Alive’ are a real hark back to the debut record and would not look out of place in amongst it; they provide the sound which Coasts’ fans appear to have fallen for (love for the band is obvious amongst followers on social media) and is certainly very competent in terms of what the band is trying to achieve.

It must be noted that there are low points on the album: ‘Let Me Love You’, by comparison to other songs on the record, does not stand up as a single, while the final couple of tracks, rather than the album ending on a high note, ensure it fizzles out rather damply, both lacking energy present elsewhere on the record.

But it would not be right to allow this to overshadow what is in the main a very solid album. Across the two records, the Bristol five-piece have managed to amass a comfortable collection of songs which are both suited to playing live and have helped to build a loyal fanbase which will undoubtedly make their huge tour during the Autumn a success. ‘This Life’ may not be a record which will win Mercury Prizes, or change the direction of music forever, but it is certainly a good enough record which cements the band’s place in the industry and well worthy of a listen for any music fan.