Back in 2017 Stellar West released Unfiltered. From my understanding they were all in high school back then and since then went to college and through some lineup changes. My vantage point is that the band is still very young considering I have a good twenty years on them but they are certainly getting some experience. Their latest release MORTAL WOMBAT is an eleven-song album that runs around thirty-six minutes. The album does have a coming of age quality in terms of the lyrics and vibe which makes perfect sense giving their age.
The music this time around mixes elements of punk, alternative and rock. Some of their taste does seem to have matured. For instance the opener “Penny” which is a great song reminds me of some of the ’90s bands I used to rock out to who were on Touch and Go Records.
The band certainly seems in top form here is terms of execution and delivery. They sound live and raw but definitely in the pocket and professional. The single worthy “Supper Candy” is a prime example of the band sounding like a unit that knows how to work together. This song in particular felt like a song you would hear on MTV that was in rotation. It reminded me of Weezer and the hundreds of other bands that sounded like this when this style was at its peak.
As the album progressed I thought there were some highlights. “What’s The Move” is a great song full of hooks and great instrumentation. The guitar work in particular had my attention on this song. The fast and fun “Chopsticks” is an anthem while “Take Me Back” felt more aligned with pop punk than other songs. The more cerebral and minimal closer “Unreal” worked really well as a parting track.
The band sounds great with this release and is their best effort yet. Life after college is whole other thing but let’s hope they keep going. Recommended.
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