Vegas duo Coastwest Unrest sounds fresh on its latest LP

Coastwest’s Dickie brothers: Josh, left, and Noah.
Ian Caramanzana

One huge benefit of being an independent artist: You can do what you want, when you want. Just ask Coastwest Unrest singer/guitarist Noah Dickie, who has used that status to his band’s advantage.

Since releasing its debut, Songs From the Desert, nearly a decade ago, Coastwest Unrest has taken its brand of catchy sun-soaked folk across the country. But four albums later, Dickie and his bandmate/brother Josh Dickie have abandoned the traditional album-tour promotional cycle. Their new approach: Write, record and release music, then simply see what happens. “I don’t think we’ve necessarily consciously stepped back from that model,” Noah says. “We were just sitting on the recorded material for months, so we just decided to say, ‘F*ck it’ and put it out.”

Spend some time with Coastwest Unrest’s fifth effort, The Crazed Ones—out July 14 on Reclaim Records—and you’ll witness a band in transition. On this batch of 11 songs, the duo digs deeper into poppy melodies and conventional song structures, a far cry from its early, spastic folk-punk. Here, the brothers give us huge hooks ready for campsite sing-alongs (see: “The Mainstream,” and the album’s title track), along with some midtempo acoustic folk ballads (“Stateline” and “More Madness, Please”) that demonstrate the band’s sonic expansion. Noah expounds on the restlessness of being on tour in the driving pop-rock escapade “Coming Home.” Speaking of which, when will the Vegas pair play its next hometown show?

“We’ve got a show in LA lined-up for August, but that’s all we’ve got for now,” Noah says. “We’d love to play more shows, but now it just feels right to sit back. I think recording and releasing music is a success in itself.”

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