With their EP What Do I, grunge alternative rock band Coastal Fire Dept. are really showcasing what they are all about. From soaring post-grunge to acoustic flows and pulses of noise rock, they are here to say that they are no one-trick pony. Through the three tracks of the EP, they delve into emotions while showing off their musical chops.
This exploration of emotion comes from Ollie Goddard (vocals, guitar), Bobby Battle (vocals, guitar) and Saad Frihmat (bass). While the band is between drummers, they enlisted the help of Kellii Scott who has drummed for legends Failure, Pink, A Perfect Circle and Dr Dre. Using a sound that throws listeners back to the heady days of 90s alternative rock and grunge, they bring a modern twist that is uniquely them.
The EP opens with the title track ‘What Do I’ which dives into wearing your heart on your sleeve. The music pulses to life before soaring into your heart with an amazing post-grunge feeling. You can hear the influences of the grunge greats in the melody, but the band brings their own flavour of British rock to the sound. The vocals cry out against the guitar-driven melody as they open their hearts and trust others with their feelings. While opening up their hearts, the track turns into a warning about trusting the wrong people and cautions people to be more careful. This is all set to an engaging soundscape that you need to turn up to get the full effect of.
‘Gun (Noise Version)’ calls out to you with the opening guitar line. There is a steady pulse to the melody that vibrates in your chest. This track brings a much heavier feeling to the EP with the rough growls of the vocals. There is a thread of noise rock warbling over the alternative rock guitars. The screams of the chorus are addictive and you are going to want to scream along with the band. The darkness of this track is amazing as it subtle enters through the vocals and slow builds to the shouts of the chorus. As you unleash pent-up aggression through the track, the heavy blast of noise rock later has you going a little crazy.
The EP comes to a close with the softer tones of ‘Loner (Acoustic)’. The acoustic guitar floats through your ears and pulls you into a melancholic headspace. The poignancy of the acoustics helps the sadness and loneliness of the track hit harder. There is an interesting interplay in the track as the music has you feeling melancholic and lonely only for the lyrics and vocals to let you know they are happy being a loner. Within the lyrics, is a warning off for anyone who wants to get to close while the chorus lets their pleasure at being alone shine. It is a strangely empowering track that any loner will be able to connect with on a deep and personal level.
Coastal Fire Dept. showcases what they are all about with the three tracks of What Do I. Each track tells a completely different story from warnings about who to trust to unleashing aggression and being happy as the loner you are. Through all of this, the band shows a true mastery of their sound that will make you want to add each track to your favourite playlist.