Roots rock depends on the roots you have. Crimson Coast is a Coromandel-based group of life-experienced friends blending acoustic rock styles with their own unique local heritage and worldview.
In the ‘net-based planet it’s refreshing to hear a band with a distinctive sound that can be traced back to their own proclivities, and not an idea coming from elsewhere. All five sing and play an instrumental role. Blessed with a choice of vocalists they have a harmonic pallet that is beyond many bands.
The tunes on this debut album are a blend of ‘70s / ‘80s country and pop, with touches of rock here and there. The production is clean and balanced. Dave Rhodes at Auckland’s Depot Sound has excelled, especially in the delivery of Ray Simpkin and Lance Strong‘s tasty lead licks. The drums and bass (Ava Strong and Paul Matthews) are a solid and lyrical foundation for the rest of the band to layer over.
‘Crimson Coast 101’ is a balanced affair, making trying to pick a favourite a tough call. Let It Fall Away with its tremolo western noir feel morphs into a chorus of epic proportions. The mandolin-driven Matter Of Time reinforces the band’s credentials as a country-folk unit with things to say about their environs.
What happens next is astounding – Stand In Line is the best song I’ve heard this year. It could be a hit for anyone; I kid you not.