Unfortunately, with the release of this debut LP, Coast shows why you should never get too excited over a band with one outstanding single. Here, "Now That You Know Me" is that outstanding track, and it is to most of this collection what the Empire State Building is to the deli across the street. One earlier single here, "Slugs," is equally super-prime stuff (as is its B-side, "Shag Wild," in slot eight), but Big Jet Rising falls way short of the promise suggested by the band's initial burst of singles and a quality 1996 appearance at New York's CMJ. Building so well on "Slugs" and non-LP single "Polly's Domain," "Now That You Know Me" and its two B-sides foretold of a band that expertly mixed psychedelic spices, modern production, portly guitar parts, melodies dripping in drama, and, rare for English guitar-heavy bands, Danny Young's vulnerability. Instead, listeners get the monotone "Britannia," the malnourished "Oh No, Something's Gone Wrong" (like this LP!), the ineffective chorus of "Entertain Me," and, in general, a lot of good-try flailing but not arriving at the desired destination. As presaged by the disappointing fourth single, "Headlines in the Sun," Paul Schroeder's production stubbornly lacks mystery or dynamics. It's so direct that it obliterates Coast's former nuances. What a drag, this Big Jet is a jet lag. From among Britain's most promising to least interesting in one LP, Coast isn't coasting, but the band has teased listeners to no good end with false hopes.
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