The Coast "Tightrope" (Exclaim! Exclusive)

The Coast 'Tightrope' (Exclaim! Exclusive)
Who knew working your ass off for two years, touring North America, hitting every little stink town in between all of the metropolitan ones could actually pay off? Well, the Coast , for one. These Toronto-based workhorses are on the road just about every time I take a peak of their schedule and not only is their star rising each and every time they go back west to Kelowna or make that trip down to NYC for a sold out gig, but all of this travelling has seriously done something to their sound.

The band’s 2006 self-titled EP was a terrific introduction, establishing their tastes in a number of British rock-isms (shoegazing, early "Britpop,” indie pop as far-reaching as the Field Mice to the Smiths) with lush, expansive guitar textures that gelled with Ben Spurr’s romantic vocal quiver for simple yet pretty harmonies.

Flash forward two years, and here we are with the Coast v2.0. The lead track from their forthcoming album, Expatriate (out April 1), "Tightrope” finds Spurr, Ian Forsbery and brothers Jordan and Luke Melchiorre hopped up on jet fuel* for a complete resurgence. Gone is the EP’s Death Cab-like vulnerability, and in its place is a forthright blast of unbridled confidence: unexpected synth oscillations, interweaving guitar jangle enhanced with anabolic distortion and stunningly layered vocals come at you like a ton of bricks, topped off by a gang chant yelling "Hey, hey, you!” — all a telltale example of Expatriate’s poise and brimming promise. The coda asks "What are you waiting for?” It’s a fitting question that will hopefully be answered aplenty when April comes rolling around.

*The Coast are professionals. Kids, do not try getting hopped up on jet fuel at home.