When British Sea Power played Mr. Small's Theatre in May, it was under the banner of a "PGHPOP Festival," which didn't really make much sense to me, seeing as British Sea Power is, well, British. As I understand it, after talking with Opus One Productions staff, PGHPOP is what they call it when they're highlighting an overseas buzz band, like Peter, Bjorn & John, that's still relatively new (to us). That the British Sea Power show wasn't exactly standing-room-only may also explain why this month's version, featuring Toronto pop synthesists The Coast, is being held at the considerably smaller Brillobox.
And "pop" The Coast certainly is. Blending the watery guitars of The Smiths, Police-style bass syncopations, twangy vocals, gleaming keyboard hooks and an ocean of reverb, The Coast is yet another band that doesn't seem to really invent anything new, yet manages to sound like itself -- and sound really good. When the band played "Killing Off Our Friends" live on MTV earlier this year, the army of backup singers helped turn it into a cacophonous social scene reminiscent of fellow Canadian Kevin Drew's Spirit If ... album.
After a series of tours last year with the likes of Tokyo Police Club and The French Kicks, The Coast released its debut full-length, Expatriate, on the Aporia label in April; it comes out in the United States on Aug. 19. If you want to listen in before the band's Pittsburgh show, much of the album is online at www.myspace.com/thecoastmusic, along with a brand-new version of "Tightrope," remixed by buds Tokyo Police Club.
PGHPOP Festival featuring The Coast, Power Pill Fist and The Red Falcon Project. 9 p.m. Sat., July 5. Brillobox, 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $5. 412-621-4900