Back at the end of the Summer Guernsey alt-rockers Coastal Fire Dept dropped their What Do I EP that featured an acoustic take of their previous single Loner, upon hearing which I said I hope we might hear more from them in that style – and now we have with two singles, acoustic versions of their previous releases What Do I and Gun.
What Do I came out first, though I believe both came from the same session, and features and extra acoustic guitar and vocal, as well as Coastal Fire Dept’s two six-stringers Ollie Goddard and Bobby Battle, in the form of producer Mikey Ferbrache.
This fills out the sound nicely with some nice extra lead touches on the guitar over the classic alt rock chugging strums.
While the music is obviously different it’s really in the vocals that the biggest change occurs as the driving energy of the full band version is replaced with something far more melancholy and forlorn, but even in this new guise it still works.
Much of what I’ve said holds true of Gun but possibly in even more pronounced fashion given the original recording of Gun is one of the heaviest songs the band have released to date, particularly with the added vocals on the original of Granite Wolf’s chiefdoms shouter, Tom ‘Shinfo’ Domaille.
This version though, while maintaining the energy, draws out quite how personal this songs is lyrically with a far darker and more bleak feel as the music is also able to shine through more with the distortion removed.
Both What Do I and Gun show a rather different side to the band very successfully but again feel like something of a tease of an approach they could really build on to make something particularly interesting, maybe it would be derivative of Nirvana’s famed Unplugged session but, given Coastal Fire Dept’s musical heritage, it seems an apt comparison and something that could make for a stand out moment in Guernsey music if they were to pursue either on record or live.