10 Jun 2023

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Coast Arcade - EP Review: Next To Me

19 May 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin

“Let's Go!” I say out loud while I listen to the first verse on Coast Arcade's new EP Next To Me. Coast Arcade has the talent of Bella Bavin who is on vocals and two lead guitarists who are also brothers, Chris Tims who is on rhythm guitar and Nate Tims on bass, and on drums and backing vocals is Thom Boynton. Coast Arcade is an Auckland-based band and they have some commendable achievements to show for themselves, including being a part of the line-up for Rhythm and Vines and Spring City festival. They have a zestful sound that is predominantly Indie Pop but there's a hint of other genres. I can see myself listening to their music on a summer drive by a coastal sea and having a collection of special moments over the summer with a special someone.

This EP utilises its sound to build energy. Bella says “I think this EP is an insight into where we’re at currently - a band of four friends who are 17-19 years old - and will be cool to look back on,” Bella goes on to explain that their songs reflect on the struggles of friendships, love, a reflection on yourself and trying to find your way as a young person in the world today.

We begin with the song Next To Me which punches immediately into a powerful drum rhythm and we get the first glimpse of their earnest lyrics. The fast-paced chorus is so addictive it does make you want to dance.

Next is Highest Heights and they have Bella’s powerful vocals again but for this song, they have added background vocals of Thom Boynton and possibly the other band members. It sounds like the background vocals are chanting enthusiastically which is a style used in many good pop songs we know and love.

I found the song Salty Blonde to be their strongest song lyrically. It starts tender with just Bella's vocals and a gentle guitar but then after the first verse, the additional guitar and drums chime in to build to a rock rhythm.

Surf Club is a song that sounds like reminiscing the familiarity of a person and place including the feelings associated with either of those things.

The lyrics in Just Peachy expresses what it means to say you're fine when you actually hold resentment and are going through pain. I like the pauses between some of the words in the chorus as it adds some power and uniqueness to their sound.

Coast Arcade does sound like they repeat the same sound for most of the songs on this EP. I believe it would benefit them to have more variety in terms of the intended effect their songs have on us as listeners. However, they show clear skill and ability to create an emotional mood-setting song. Coast Arcade have established a strong fanbase and has a unique distinctive sound to their name which shows what they have to offer. I have added their songs to my personal playlist and we all should look forward to seeing what they will produce in the future.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Coast Arcade

Indie Rock Pop up-and-comers Coast Arcade have made quite an impact in their breakout year; opening for Aussie legends Bootleg Rascals and The Grogans as well as Kiwi icons The Beths and Princess Chelsea. 2022 saw them secure a spot on the Spring City festival line-up alongside huge international acts Groove Armada, Zane Lowe, and Ladyhawke as well as the iconic Rhythm and Vines festival line-up. They also released their infectious debut single, Tattoo, which reached no.11 on the Official Hot NZ Singles chart and was playlisted on MTV Upload.

Formed in high school in early 2021, Coast Arcade are fast becoming regulars in New Zealand's music scene. The band plays to a strong following at many of Tamaki Makaurau's most iconic live music venues.

Coast Arcade describe their sound as Indie Pop Rock with twists of Surf and Punk. This combination of genres crafts their energetic and fun summer sound. Bella Bavin (Rafflyn) fronts the band with strong kiwi vocals and cheeky lead guitar. Brothers Chris and Nate Tims follow with tasty riffs and an energetic dynamic on Rhythm Guitar and Bass, respectively. Thom Boynton pulls it together with his driving drums and punk-infused backing vocals.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Coast Arcade


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