by Thomas Bedward September 05, 2021
A powerhouse fourpiece from the Vale parish of Guernsey, Coastal Fire Dept. have been carving up their local scene since 2013, delivering a cataclysmic grunge rock sound that has echoed all around the Channel Islands. Armed with a heavy, guitar-driven sound and plenty of grit, the band have spent the last few years creating an unparallel back-catalogue, and now, in the wake of pandemics, lockdowns, and a wave of global tension, they’ve released their most impressive alt-rock epic to date.
Titled ‘What Do I’, the new EP is a perfect example of the band’s sound, capitalising on driving, melodic guitars and catchy choruses that will stick in your head like a steel spike. While only three tracks long, there’s a lot of ground to cover in the EP, and the band have done a brilliant job at creating a quickfire release that shines with diversity, power, and fierce individuality.
Opening with new single and title track ‘What Do I’, the EP carves a quick and undeniable sound, one that’s built on soaring post-grunge anthemics. Alongside the song’s music video, the band shared that ‘What Do I’ is “about people who wear their hearts on their sleeves and is a warning to be careful who you trust with your feelings,” and when listening to the track, it's easy to hear that earnest, heartfelt sound come through. Musically, the single is as loud, bold, and explosive as ever, but it’s the soul of the song that really shines through, particularly when Ollie sings with his broad, rustic strokes.
For the latter two songs on the EP, the band have gone back to their previous singles, ‘Gun’ and ‘Loner’, but they’ve put a sharp new spin on both, revealing some impressive new versions of the breakthrough anthem. For ‘Gun’, Coastal Fire Dept. have turned things up to a new level, unleashing the aptly titled ‘noise version’ that feels as though it was purpose-built to blow minds, while the acoustic version of ‘Loner’ brings out more of song’s dark, isolated vibes, and the band have done a terrific job stripping the song back while also maintaining its core sound.
While the band of Ollie Goddard, Bobby Battle, Saad Frihmat, and Ozzy Austin are no strangers to massive releases, ‘What Do I’ is a more nuanced and idiosyncratic affair, one that shows that the band can write some truly developed releases that stand firm, even when the heavy grunge sounds are torn away.
Brimming with a vast array of influences and an energetic sound that perfectly conveys power and poignancy, ‘What Do I’ is a release that deserves to be heard across all continents. Tune in to the full release above and be sure to lend your support to the band by following them on their social media pages below.
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by Thomas Bedward November 24, 2022
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