Colin Peterik is throwing a lot more charisma in our direction in his cover of Lana Del Rey’s “West Coast” than a single vocal can account for, but in all honesty, it’s hard to picture this song being as stunning a cover as it is without his voice in the middle of the mix. “West Coast” is an interesting choice for Peterik, but given the singing style he utilizes here, it makes the most sense of any in the Lana Del Rey discography. The mic is the perfect outlet for his passion in this performance, which rivals that of the creator’s in certain moments.
There isn’t a lot of contrast in this version of the song compared to its original incarnation, but that doesn’t matter when there’s as much brawn coming off of the band as there is here. I love the additional muscle in the instrumentation, and had the guitars not been given the role of buffer in the mix, we wouldn’t be able to feel the pulse of the band’s collective push as much as we are in this instance. This is very much Peterik’s “West Coast,” and anyone who thought he couldn’t put his stamp on such a defined track is about to eat their words here.
Produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, this is a single that feels as heavy as I would imagine a live performance from these players would be. The in-studio music video for “West Coast” gives us an up-close and personal view of Peterik’s command over the complete band, and just judging from its five and a half minute running time, I get the idea that we could expect as much charisma from these guys in a concert as they’re able to muster up from inside a recording space.
Peterik pushes himself with this beat, but the way it turns out is surprisingly more provocative than some might have expected. He’s able to straddle the groove elegantly, and although he could have used a little more bass to push the verses harder, I can appreciate his desire to keep things on the simpler side in at least one department here. If his main objective was to see how far he could go with this piece, he absolutely nailed it, but what’s more is that I think he’s highlighted a versatility within his artistry we might not have known about otherwise.
If you want a smart cover that doesn’t end up falling into the same traps that a lot of similar works do, Colin Peterik’s take on “West Coast” is required listening for sure. Peterik breathes poetic substance into these words in a way that makes me question how much of the narrative is Lana Del Rey’s and how much of it belongs to him and him alone, which is awfully hard to do in a piece like this. It’s an impressive work, and if he’s this good with material that he didn’t even compose, I can’t wait to hear some original content.
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