The most obvious explanation is that The West were put here to save us. Of course there is the alternative, that a kick-ass dance punk band somehow coalesced and sprouted in the middle of Seattle, but it just doesn’t seem possible that anything other than divine-intervention could be responsible for making Seattleites move like this.
Regardless of how it happened, the 5 piece released their full-length debut, ‘In Low Light’, back in February and they’ve been gaining notoriety ever since, even prompting Sean Jewell at The Stranger to write, “I don’t care what era or city you’re from, you’ll have to be dead or just plain dumb not to want to dance to In Low Light”. Not buying it? Take a listen to “Call Me A Liar”, or “Slightest Touch”, or better yet just start at the beginning of ‘In Low Light’ and see if the resulting 40 minutes don’t beg to soundtrack your next house party. From frosty, cold wave infused tracks like “Another Story” and “You Won’t”, to bright, new wave inspired head-bobbers like “Danger”, there is more than enough sonic nuance here to transform your gaggle of awkward, angular friends into a sweaty mess. The short list of influences that I hear include LCD Soundsystem, Modern English, Human League, Gang of Four, and DEVO just to name a few, but suffice to say that this band clearly knows how to craft an interesting pop record.
This alone would have been enough, but the band decided to sneak one more release into 2013 in the form of a 3-track EP titled “Clock is Ticking”. All three tracks are pretty killer, but for this post we decided to focus on the second track, “Out of Sync”. Despite being just over 3 minutes in length, The West pack in quite a few twist and turns, and I love how the vocals have a really sharp ‘Freedom of Choice’ era DEVO quality that works super well with the slick minimalism of the guitars and synth.
Originally published on Jan. 4, 2014 on “No Goddamn Dancing.”