Coastwest Unrest’s Folk Ballads Are Just Right for ‘The Heat’

It’s a shame that the Bunkhouse is closed; the venue’s Wild West aesthetic would’ve been a perfect fit for another Coastwest Unrest show. The band’s latest effort, Black Desert Sweet Mojave, is full of its signature sun-soaked style of folk, with nods to greats of the genre—imagine if Leonard Cohen were American, lived in Las Vegas and coped with the unforgiving desert heat by chugging PBR and writing ballads on an electric guitar.

The album kicks into high gear right off the bat with the jangly guitar riff of “36th Parallel,” which is reminiscent of a revved-up American Football. The playful guitars return in the following two tracks, “Manzanar” and “Way Out Here,” but the band’s songwriting genius is spotlighted in the later tracks. Singer Noah Dickie’s monotonous croon melds nicely with the acoustic chords in “Tether” and the ebb and flow of the album’s closer, “The Heat.” You’d think a song named “All the Fuck You’s” would be a quick punk number, but it’s actually the album’s simple, stripped-down centerpiece. All the fuck you’s just won’t do, Dickie sings. They might not meet Dickie’s standard, but the unfortunately abbreviated album exceeds ours. (Reclaim Records) ★★★★✩

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