Creatively mighty, eleven original tracks with no single sound or style to hold them down – West Of House get topical and immersive as the wonderful, powerful and provocative Drown The Wind emerges.
From the introduction – Nothing Is But What Is Not – intrigue and emotion lead the way. The final moment hears ‘everything is different’ whisper out after a distinct and moving ambiance, and we start to wonder, we start to consider, and then the music kicks up a fuss for the follow-up.
‘We’ll sing, we’ll smile, we’ll dance’ resounds from an energising and blissfully hopeful Entwined. Mighty blues-rock riffs and fantastic production allow the gritty sound and heartfelt subject matter to quickly connect. Then things explode into fast-paced prog-rock realms for an unignorable change in direction; which you’d be forgiven for assuming was the start of a new song.
‘Merican takes things down a more direct political and topical route with reflections on the times and the American dream. Tumbling drums and a catchy back and forth between falsetto and weight, a call and response, all helps give the track a memorable edge.
Taking a step back from intensity is the beautifully crafted, shoegaze-style Sunshine Girl – a moment that tips its hat to the opener, reminding us of the artistic purpose and creative freedom of the project.
Beautiful Distraction afterwards hits with superb emotion thanks to the reverb-kissed embrace of the guitars and the heavy, nostalgic strike of the drums. Breathy vocals of a lower tone offer simple, short lines and poetic imagery, and slowly but surely the soundscape evolves and envelopes the listener in its energy and brightness.
With Fall Down, we get a touch of smoothness and delicacy akin to the likes of The Smiths or The Cure. Then Cattywampus adopts a distorted, dark-rock mood with entrancing operatic and metal tendencies just subtly lighting up certain moments. Later, The Oracle (Speak To Me) proves a classic driving anthem, with cascading solos and a brilliantly empowering undertone.
In every case, there’s a strong indication that a live show from West Of House would be sensational – in everything from the musicianship to the deliveries to the entire band’s commitment to the moment.
The First Time is beautiful, a timeless pop-rock anthem with personal depth and poetry united for a deeper connection. Furthering this, Where to Begin is stunning – revealing, engaging, optimistic yet poignant all at once.
Appearing precisely 364 days after the band’s debut Crescendo of Silence, Drown The Wind marks a distinct step further into creative purpose and presence within the modern scene and the current state of our world. A vastly interesting, effective album, which is all at once intensely inspiring and a simple pleasure to escape into.