Coast To Coast - 'Sovereign' EP Review


Tracklist:

1. Sovereign

2. Be Kind

3. The Sun Is Dim

4. Heredity

5. Cold Buzz

Coast To Coast are a five-piece Indie/Emo band from Birmingham and they’ve recently released their five-track EP ‘Sovereign’. This EP marks a transition in the band's sound, from their usual brand of Pop-Punk influenced Alternative music, to a more laid-back and introspective sound. Alongside the title track, the EP also includes four alternative versions of previous singles that have been updated to reflect this new style, with mixed results.

The EP opens up with ‘Sovereign’ and the new change of pace for the band is evident straight from the opening synth. Featuring jangly guitars straight out of a Pity Sex song, Mike Duce-inspired vocals and sparse, atmospheric synth chords, this mid-tempo Indie Pop ballad is catchy and sets the tone well. The song makes you nostalgic for a time that never was and I can imagine this soundtracking an edgier teenage romance.

‘Be Kind (Alternative)’ follows and is a slower-paced track, with its electronic drum beats nicely complimenting the acoustic guitar, the heavily reverberated lead guitar and the impassioned vocals. This version of the track gives the vocals plenty of room to breathe and it is definitely one of the catchier songs from this release, but it’s after this point of the EP that the lack of energy from the band starts to drag unfortunately.

‘The Sun Is Dim (Alternative)’ combines the electronic and ethereal vibes of previous songs with some light Country/Americana vibes, reminiscent of bands like Pinegrove. However, it struggles to differentiate itself from the previous tracks and doesn’t quite offer up enough of a change of pace to keep things interesting. ‘Cold Buzz (Alternative)’ on the other hand has a better sense of progression, with its dual vocals in the chorus playing off each other beautifully and the addition of acoustic drums in the latter half building the tension and drama nicely. The track ends on a high note with the vocals circling round the listener and enrapturing you in this huge sound. ‘Heredity’ has a similar sense of progression, though it isn’t quite as effective as the previous song in its attempt. The band add new elements to this constantly evolving sound of acoustic and electronic elements, over sombre, reflective lyrics regarding parental influence, but the ending of the song fails to go anywhere particularly memorable.

Whilst this new style from the band is definitely more current and modern than their earlier efforts, it lacks the same energy they once had and fails to stay memorable for the full length of the release. For newcomers to the band, this EP may come across as a bit too one dimensional, but for current fans of the band that are looking for new takes on old tunes, this is well worth a listen. Apart from a couple of standout tracks (‘Sovereign’ and ‘Cold Buzz (Alternative)’, the best thing about this EP is that it has introduced me to the superior early versions of these songs.

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Review - Spencer Rixon

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