Californians Troubled Coast aren’t breaking new ground here. Their latest effort, Letters, takes a cue from the recently desceased Crime In Stereo, who had long made an effort to mix elements of shoegaze, indie rock and hardcore along with references to Bukowski and paying off student loans. While Troubled Coast’s lyrical stance seems to come from a more introspective source, they certainly do a more than commendable job highlighting their strengths as a band.

Listen to “We Can’t Go Home” – DOWNLOAD MP3

From the first track, “Letters,” the record plays as seamlessly as possible. “Drug Halo,” for example, could be two songs with its mid-tempo intro and blast beat-led verse. Following that, “Feigned Belief” kicks in, and there’s pretty much no stopping the record.

While it’s easy to compare Troubled Coast to other bands, it doesn’t make them any less interesting. Letters isn’t the perfect album, but it does show a lot of promise and growth for this young quintet. In a scene where many bands do little more than release the same record continually, it’s refreshing to see new jacks start from a place where they allow themselves a little more freedom.

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