Recording information: Eastcole Studios, London; Good Soldier Studios, London; Kappswood Farm, Reading; Livingstone Studios, London; RAK Studios, London; Strongrooms, London; The Lark's Tongue, Bucks; The Matrix Studios, London; Unit 24 Studios, London.
On Coasts' self-titled debut, the Bristol, England quintet delivers a consistent and focused album of epic, danceable indie rock in the vein of Two Door Cinema Club, Bastille, and Imagine Dragons. Much like that latter band, the drums on Coasts are gigantic, pounding sonic booms. The choruses are equally huge, aiming straight for the rafters, along a wave of singalong chants and passionate declarations. Opening track "Oceans" kicks things off immediately with a wall of voices and robust beat blasts (later, on sibling track "Tonight," the band completes the idea and brings the motifs on "Oceans" full circle). Album standout "Modern Love" arrives midway between them and contains the album's catchiest chorus buoyed atop a driving, urgent beat that explodes with energy and life. Other rousing highlights include the rollicking pop-punk of "You" and the tropical jam "Your Soul." There are some slower moments reminiscent of Postal Service that are dropped in to cool things off, but the band is most effective on those giant stadium-hungry anthems. On their debut, Coasts produce a competent collection of catchy arena-ready tunes that could eventually carry them there. ~ Neil Z. Yeung