Australia have given us some great bands over the years- Parkway Drive, The Hives, and Wolfmother spring to mind immediately, but there are countless more that have spread their wings and found success oversea. West Thebarton, named after the small town they originate from, are another band hoping to make their name in the world of music. Their genuine, emotional punk, with softer tendencies makes them quite unique in the music scene, but that isn’t always a good thing. Let’s find out if it is.
The most instantly recognisable thing about the band’s music is lead singer Reverend Ray’s rough voice- sounding like an Australian Brian Fallon, but somehow with an even harsher edge. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but of course, nothing is- and if you’re into it- you won’t be able to keep it out of your head. It isn’t the only thing that defines this band though- that would be their unique style of music, which switches often between harsh and melodic punk- but rarely uses any outside instrumentation. This works perfectly for the band- because whenever they’re playing faster or slower stuff, it all just feels so genuine.
Some of those faster moments feel great too- ‘Bible Camp’ could be one of the best songs on the album, with an unforgettable chorus, and opener ‘Moving Out’ shows what the band can do perfectly. But it’s in the slower songs that the band really shine, and show they aren’t just any punk band. For example, closer ‘Set It Straight’ is the perfect end to the album, winding everything down to a pretty beautiful closing point. ‘Reasons’ is truly the best song on the album though- a five minute slow punk odyssey that takes the listener through so many sounds and emotions, taking the song to a chilling end.
This album is a success not just because of everything I’ve previously mentioned, but also because of how it feels. It’s rare for such a rough punk sound to feel so comfortable, but this album feels like home in a musical sense- warm, and comforting. Not only that, but it’s unique, and definitely in a good way- at least enough to stand out in the punk world. I can only see good things in this band’s future.
Best song: Bible Camp, Set It Straight, Reasons