Interesting. Deep. Full-bodied. Southern Hospitality. All of these come to mind when I think about West Without’s self-titled EP West Without. The harmonized vocals (from three different singers, no less!) blend with weighty bass and loose cannon guitar to create enthralling tunes that capture your full attention and do not let go. It’s worth mentioning that though the foundation of each song rests on the laurels of basic rock music theory, enough liberties are taken with form and sound to make things sound great.
As soon as “Give Me Your Heart” started, I took notice of how nice the bass sounds in this song. This is where you hear the first vocalist, a woman with a relaxing, sultry and sweet voice. It is followed closely by “The Prey,” a quietly fierce song that has a very cool, offbeat melody, and surprising male vocals that harmonize perfectly with the female vocals. The bubbly plucks are a nice accent to a well-developed bass line.
“Bird in a Cage” will have your head bobbing as soon as the first note hits. On the surface, this is a very simple song, but there is an undeniable allure enveloping every single sound you hear, from the wailing guitar to the soothing and catchy vocals. The bass adds a sense of gravity to the song, making it a very heavy but enjoyable listen.
“Cold Blood” is more upbeat than its predecessor. These female vocals sound very young and fun, with more of the harmony coming from background vocals than from the lead. It’s a nice addition to the other two vocal styles, though, as it balances the harmony with a little more independence.
“Get It Right” is COOL. From the beginning sample to the eerie bell tinkling in the background, this song veered in a different direction from all the rest of the songs on the EP. It’s almost as though they either changed the key, or simply turned their ‘heavy’ dial to double power.
I wasn’t quite expecting what I heard in this EP. I really like that each person plays their part in total connection with all of the other parts. It seems that they knew when to jump to the forefront and take control and when to fall back into supporting line with the others, without any interruptions in the music or mood. This is the stuff good alternative is made of. If you have a few minutes, give West Without a listen. You won’t come out at the end of the album feeling the way you did when you started, and that’s a guarantee.
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