Sunday, April 2, 2017

CD Review: COCONUT DONUT Musically Delicious

The origins of the alternative rock duo Coconut Donut are simple enough: its founding members met at a friend’s wedding and had a love of music and coconut donuts in common. Not the most glamorous account of how a band starts, but this is what they wrote into their site biography. Something about it strikes me as being easygoing and down to earth, and reminded me of when I listened to the likes of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden in the summer of ‘92 before I discovered Norwegian black metal. Metal wasn’t dead to me at that point, but discovering early alternative was breathing fresh air after You Could Be Mine by GNR was aired on radio and MTV for the Nth time. Having been based in New York City (Kurt Nous) and Santa Monica (Ed Biagiotti) while writing and recording the tracks for Musically Delicious (with Christopher Rybitski, Ed Lanouette, Tim Lynch, Josh Greenberg and Jason Bittner), they allowed their respective environments to seep into their performances and produced an album that represents what alternative should have been, not what it became when hacks like Green Day and The Offspring gained the spotlight and we were treated to litanies of self-blame and self-hate disguised as punk rock. Self-deprecation does not a good band make, and as The Way I Choose and LA indicate, these two are just following their bliss and if people don’t like it, too bad. So in case you haven’t gathered by now, Coconut Donut don’t adhere to expected formats to stand out and it’s never too late to show the real potential of the alternative genre. Musically Delicious is good to listen to if you’re looking to mellow out, with traces of jazz, mid-70s rock, Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead. This meeting of west and east coasts and the additional musicians brought in gives these songs a multi-layered overtone that’s akin to visiting bars across both locations. You normally wouldn’t expect members of Shadows Fall to be involved in a recording like this, but drummer Jason Bittner lent his talent when Nous and Biagiotti contacted him and asked him to get involved. His precision drumming for SF tightens the varying influences and generally strengthens the material making it all the more poignant and introspective in many ways. As the album’s producer Bittner also does a decent job balancing the band’s myriad of influences. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Running For You
2. What'd You Expect
3. The Way I Choose
4. Til The Night Is Gone
5. A-L-N
6. I Know
7. Wake The Day
8. Yesterdays Sun
9. Unconditional
10. LA
11. Slow Motion
12. Yesterdays Sun (Low Demo Version)

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