On The Wall
NOTE: This is an English translation of a review we received for In Low Light on a French blog called “On The Wall.” Thank you to Eric Chirnside for providing the translation. You can read the original article by clicking here.
THE WEST – BEWITCHING DISCO DANCE ROCK
by Guillaume Barrot
Let’s dive into underground music with The West’s excellent first a…lbum, In Low Light, which could appease even the biggest music snobs among you.
Hipsters lacking any sort of musical open mindedness need not apply. The West has nothing to do with a certain chillwave à la Toro Y Moi or with the electro dream pop of M83. Seattle. City of music snobs par excellence but a forgotten cemetary. Oh sure, we remember Hendrix, Cobain, et al… Bastion of the indie label Sup Pop Records, the godforsaken center of Washington State counts not only for a large music scene that endures regardless of past local drama, but also enjoys some unquestionably good bands. This is the case for The West, whose sound mixes energetic indie rock with dance rock synths ready to make you wear out your sneakers on the dance floor of an underground club. Adrienne, Anthony, Reed, Bob, and Jon even say so themselves: “I see you standing on the dance floor next to me…” Proof that their human desire to incite movement shines through…
Imagine the child of The Smiths and The Whip…or the reverse. The West is above all a band that unleashes indie rock riffs over ultra-80’s synthetic melodies, driven by possessed dance rhythms. It Was Disco And It’s Over clearly reminds us of Joy Division’s work and of Morrissey. A sort of testimony for a new wave that is becoming more and more commonplace at the forefront of today’s music scene. Don’t Make A Sound grooves in ways that should be illegal and implores your presence on the dance floor, among the young women shaking their sparkling hair, which isn’t without reminding us of a certain French cosmetic company’s commercials, and the presence of the bass on Another Story takes a certain perverse pleasure in giving you brain trauma with its enchanting powers urging you to bang your head, in the same way that You Won’t absorbs all of your energy. The quintet is not to be outdone on You’re In Control, which shows its luscious bottom end, and we then jump around through the rest of the album.
One more band to watch closely. Proof that the Brits don’t make up the entirety of the independent music scene, far from it in fact…