La Costa Perdida
That’s because whereas the last one was a politically philosophical concept album, this one’s a Northern California-themed long player that wistfully looks back on youthful surfer hippie days growing up on the coast.
Offbeat and all over the map as ever, the exhilaration begins with the mandolin-graced litany of old girlfriend names that is Come Down the Coast: Esmerelda, Gabriella, Isabella; Josephina, Magdalena, Rosalinda; even Valentina.
The rocking Too High for the Love-In recalls the group’s best album, “Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart,” right down to the nearly nonsensical lyrics, Balkan folk rhythms and midpoint tempo change. Kicking it up a notch are the interwoven surf guitar licks.
You Got to Roll alternates between blues and alt rock, but also between sexual innuendo and straightforward suggestion.
And on a roll they are, as slide guitar and violin unite for the psychedelic waltz Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out, followed by the left turn of Peaches in the Summertime, a ska-punk revision of the traditional Appalachian tune “Shady Grove.”
It’s not hard to imagine the disc’s centerpiece, the “Holland”-era Beach Boys-inspired Northern California Girls, as an innocently delirious composition by Brian Wilson in answer to his own “California Girls.”
The stream-of-consciousness lyrics of the dirgelike Summer Days long for bygone if monotonous carefree times.
Then there’s the title track, which translates as The Lost Coast, a narcocorrido-style number that still manages to retain a hint of the band’s trademark southeastern Europe motif, set to perhaps David Lowery’s most smart-aleck lyrics of the bunch. Throw in Aged in Wood, a one-minute instrumental nod to “Smile”-era Beach Boys (think “Workshop” but with wood-based sound effects of a different variety) before taking a romantic walk along the shore with the string-sweetened A Love for All Time and that’s a wrap for another work of art from conventionally unconventional Camper Van Beethoven.
1. Come Down The Coast
2. Too High For The Love-In
3. You Got To Roll
4. Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out
5. Peaches In The Summertime
6. Northern California Girls
7. Summer Days
8. La Costa Perdida
9. Aged In Wood
10. A Love For All Time
Total time: 43:04