Of the Coast are a pop/punk rock quartet emerging out of Mississippi, who are making their way to prominence, and are guaranteed to earn a spot on your iPod. Debuting with their 2012 EP release, Pack Your Bags, Of the Coast will have you singing and tapping along with their catchy hooks, and melodic guitar work. 2014 saw the band’s early March follow-up EP release with Weather (which is available on iTunes and Spotify by the way), and they were kind enough to send it to me. So, I would like to play through each track, and offer a review.
Weather begins with the opening track Burnout, and introduces us to an upbeat atmosphere with pop drum licks and melodic guitar work, which further latches onto the ear with building vocals. Almost immediately we are brought to the chorus, which sounds very bright with high vocal melodies and hooky guitars, while making use of altering tempo on the drums. Feelings of youthful naïveté accompany a brief interlude, and next we arrive at the verse being full of groove. The overall melodic quality of the guitars make the imagination paint pictures with the lyrical content. A few moments later we are guided through a soft intermission while building to a guitar solo, and then seamlessly brought back home with an almost triumphant chorus. Overall, Burnout makes for a great opening track that will captivate the listener’s attention, drawing him in for the next track.
Right off the bat Distance is energetic in its opening anthem-like melodies. Tension builds slowly as the first verse makes its way to us with tom and snare drum patterns layered with expressive guitar phrases. We proceed with beautiful soaring guitar melodies, and vocals that seem to contrast in their almost pungent content. Things then seem to calm down a bit before building tension once more, which leads to the inevitable chorus. The chords used thus far have been expressive and colorful, all funneling to a quiet bridge, which feels like the music could take off at any moment. After lingering briefly, we explode into a release of vocal harmony and rhythmic guitars that are solidified by the backbeat of the drums. Distance feels like an anthem from the get-go, and culminates in a groove-laden conclusion with group vocals that will have fists raised, and arms waving.
3. Better Weather
Better Weather contains the most notable introduction thus far with a very colorful guitar riff, and drums that sound filtered out in the mix, which adds to the atmosphere. On the nature of the mix thus far, it sounds very solid and crisp. Actually, I was impressed with the quality of production that went into it. As the song kicks in it sounds very upbeat with the guitar rhythm, driving drums, and even a tambourine. Suspense is built upon when the vocals arrive, and we are left with a pumping kick drum over brief monotone guitars. So far, Better Weather has the most creative song structure in its odd time feel and hook. By the time the chorus looms, we find ourselves in another anthem-like environment with powerful chord progressions. It even makes use of a bit of piano, which adds to the “feel good” vibe. The next verse will have you hand clapping, as there are literal hand claps in the segment complimenting the drums. Better Weather ends after the extremely catchy chorus with a repeating vocal line. Better Weather is definitely the most creative track so far, and could easily be a single.
4. The Finer Things
The fourth track opens with an acoustic guitar underneath a vocal line before exploding into a rather happy punkish vibe, which the latter has become a reoccurring theme thus far in Weather’s upbeat, driving format. The vocals here express aspirations, “the finer things” in their sentimental content. Just as the tracks that came before, by the time the chorus is upon us the listener will be up and singing in unison with the lyrics, caught up in the happy “feel good” atmosphere.
Just as with The Finer Things, Lost begins with an acoustic guitar, and vocals that tell the listener a story, expressed in the individual notes, tones, and chords. Lost is definitely the most laid back song on the EP thus far, and has a vibe that is similar to country music, utilizing a lap steel guitar in the chorus, which is full of melodic atmosphere. The instruments are quiet until the last half of the song, when the full band kicks in and slowly decrescendos. Lost is Weather’s third noteworthy track right after Distance and Better Weather, and could easily be a hit single.
6. Too Far Gone
The EP closes with Too Far Gone. Again we are treated with guitar and vocals, only this time the guitar is electric. As the track kicks in, we are immediately exposed to a catchy, driving chorus. Of the Coast seem competent in the ability to create catchy, upbeat, driving choruses that will capture an audience, and have them singing along with the lyrics. Too Far Gone is similar to the tracks The Finer Things and Burnout, in that while these tracks do not have the anthem-like pomp that Distance or Better Weather have, and is far from the ballad-like nature of Lost, it is a definite “crowd starter” with its hooks and chorus. In fact, Weather could be classified as having three sections: anthems (Distance, Better Weather), catchy “crowd starters” (Burnout, The Finer Things, Too Far Gone), and a ballad (Lost). Weather comes to a catchy, fun conclusion with the final guitar patterns and vocal line. I am left feeling optimistic about the band, that they will no doubt continue to have success and catch on, gaining fans and popularity alike.
You can find information pertinent to the band via their Facebook page.