Fawn | Coastlines

Quite Scientific Records (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  June 5, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars

Fawn_Coastlines

Jaded girl-boy harmonies, gleeful three-chord riffs, healthy doses of punkish noise and emo melody: Coastlines, the debut LP from Detroit indie-pop quartet Fawn, feels like a charming souvenir from a musical era two decades in the rear-view. But unfortunately, some of these songs are two decades stale: "Pixels" comes off like a perky Pixies B-side minus the charm, and "Pennies" can't rise above its flat vocal hook and rote guitar chug. Meanwhile, there isn't much whatsoever to be said for the production, which gives every track the same bland "Surf's up!" sheen, eliminating variety, dynamics, and much-needed muscle. Fawn certainly have a lot working against them on Coastlines, but I'll be damned if they're not fun: opener "All the Lights" finds the band at their most aggressive, with blaring counterpoint guitars playing tug-of-war above a cavern of impassioned, reverbed yelps. "No Wave" climbs skyward from droning full-band texture to a caterwaul of "ooh-aah" vocals and crunchy pop-punk guitar harmonies. And even the coldest of coldhearted bastards can't deny the rapturous "Suicide," a feedback-drenched anthem that very nearly beats out Yuck (last year's break-out '90s--guitar-rock revivalists) at their own throwback game.
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