Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Review: West 34
West 34 - Road To Nowhere (Clear Coat Records)
Chicago has a long history of producing first-rate guitar pop bands. From Material Issue to Pezband, there’s something in the Illinois water supply that seems to encourage an appreciation of The Beatles, Cheap Trick and Big Star. The four members of West 34 have drunk heartily from the well. On “Road To Nowhere”, their new five-track EP, they crank up the guitars, set their vocals to ‘harmony’ and ladle on the hooks.
Opening track “All I Want Is You” could have been recorded at any point over the last 35 years. New wave guitar and keyboards come together with a great rock vocal and a killer chorus. “What You've Done to Me” features a near-perfect guitar line, the sort of thing that Bram Tchaikovsky played with The Motors in the late ‘70s, and it dances around the vocal fiercely. You can’t help but feel that had it been released as part of the same musical wave, it would have become a late night radio staple. “Politricks”, aside from its awkward title, is the sort of power pop tune that would have been a standout on a Not Lame compilation, and final cut, “The Last Messiah” is altogether heavier and progressive, and is definitely one for Jeremy Morris and Jam Records fans.