File Under: Like Pearls Before Swine

The Coast Is Never Clear

I recently found this holding up the short leg of my couch and — shazam! — turns out it works pretty good in the CD player, too. Once the little-pony-that-could in the Elephant 6 stable of fun-trick noisemakers, Beulah has grown into a mighty unicorn, employing a similar fuzzed-pop, Brian-Wilson-in-the-basement arrangement strategy as their brethren the Apples in Stereo and Neutral Milk Hotel. Released back when the E6 scene didn’t seem quite so played, The Coast Is Never Clear is a toe-tapping glad-bag of ’60s sunshine pop, fun-house mirror psychedelia and kitchen sink experimentation. The hookah-smoking-caterpillar hunch of “Hello Resolven” is reason enough for any fan of late-period Wilco to plunk down the price of admission. The band’s got a charisma deficit — not a looker in the bunch and, well, their name; with all due apologies to the hot Beulahs of the world, it sounds like the name of the girl nobody wants to fuck, and will likely ensure them all the riches and fame of a gas station attendant. But for what it’s worth, last Sunday they were more popular than Jesus over at my place.