The emergence of Coasters marks the return of singer-songwriter Si Hall to the South West live circuit. With a heritage that stretches back through the wonderfully named Blind Dogs For The Guides to skater-punks Buzztone, more recent creative outputs have ranged only from occasional solo gigs to self-imposed hiatus. However, that was then and this is now and after gathering around him his brother Matt on guitar, producer/bassist Paul Jellings as well as a series of well-known players for the yet unresolved position of drummer, this new musical vehicle was born.
By stripping back the wall of sound associated with those skate punk days, injecting some acoustic layering and subtler, more dynamic bass lines, but retaining electric guitar to power through when required, Coasters have found the best of both worlds. The energy, verve and spirit of ’76, and the agit-folk vibe of the solo performance now lock together creating massive scope, from intricate guitar picking to full on white hot guitar salvos, pop sensibilities rubbing shoulders with anarchic punk volleys.
This re-crafting of the musical building blocks also exposes the heart of the band, the quality of the song writing and musicality of the band are laid bare for all to see. Now that there isn’t a mountain of instrumentation for Si’s voice to constantly battle with, it’s presence makes itself felt. A vocal style that may have evolved merely to compete with the power of the music has long since developed into a controlled, projected and powerful tool, one that is now framed by its musical surroundings rather that vying for elbow room.
Coasters will tick a lot of boxes; accessible enough to quickly energize a crowd yet easily striking a chord with fans of the punk turned alt-Americana set, infectious enough to have you humming their riffs (and presumably feeling the urge to buy their records) for days after the gig and yet spikey enough to appeal to the underground music aficionados. Whichever music persuasion you follow, this band offers it all.