With releasing their debut album Different Beings Being Different and a recent signing to James Tidswell’s label, Domestic La La, West Thebarton are establishing themselves in a big way. With a rare seven members in their band, their sound is rocky, raw, and catchy in a way that is hard to find these days. Singles off the new album were well received by fans, and anticipation for Different Beings Being Different was high. I had personally heard high praise about the band’s music from friends, and with this I dove in to have a better look.
The vocals are a highlight from the very start, as the performance put in by Reverend Ray is gravelly, harsh, fast, and melodic at the same time. His voice is fantastic and matches the tone of their songs perfectly. The instrumentals are also fantastic, as the raw guitars and upbeat drums, combined with the vocals, make me feel like I’m a kid again with Dad playing me some random Aussie rock bands he likes. The vibes throughout the whole thing are constantly reminding me of rock bands playing at pubs or festivals, and I am loving it.
“Moving Out” is the opening track off the album, as well as one of the singles released beforehand, and is an enjoyable start to the record. The instrumentals are great, as the guitars are continuously bouncing off of each other, combining with the bass and vocals to create something that makes you wanna dance. Relating to the difficult task of moving out of home and making it on your own, “Moving Out” is a grouse track that I can certainly see people jumping around to live, no doubt spilling beer everywhere while they do so.
“Moving Out” transitions into the short and fast track “Basics”, which only goes for one minute and thirty-five seconds. A catchy set of guitar riffs and a short run time leaves this as a ridiculously fun and quick piece of music which splits the gap between “Moving Out” and “Stuck On You” nicely.
This album is already setting up as something I will be listening to for days, as West Thebarton’s sound is making me very happy indeed. “Stuck On You” is yet another fine example of this, as it speaks of the troubles of being a broke young person while keeping up the tone of the album. “Gough” takes more of a lighter approach, as the guitars take a higher more lighter sound. More of a focus is put on the melodic side of the vocals, at least for the verses, and this provides a nice set up to each of the choruses. This track also demonstrates that The Rev can really let loose when he wants to, as his almost screaming choruses in “Gough” show off his impressive range. Lyrical content however isn’t particularly a strong suit of the album thus far, as there doesn’t appear to be much depth or deep meaning to any of the tracks.
“Bible Camp” is no question the highlight track off the album. It is fast and energy filled from the start, as the guitars and drums set the tone from the start. The vocals are on full display yet again, as the tracks fulfilling verses set up the chorus perfectly. Even more fantastic instrumentals are on display, and everything comes together in the chorus, in what is the catchiest and best part of this album in my opinion.
The song speaks of meeting someone who makes everything okay. They are both doing it tough with life but this one person makes everything better for the speaker behind the lyrics. The words are catchy, and this is a greatly enjoyable track which is difficult to sit through without having a little bit of a dance.
“And I’ll paint the sky blue for you.”
After that non stop thrill ride I need a second to take a breath, luckily “Reasons” is up next and gives me exactly that. It takes a much slower approach than every song we have heard so far, as the instrumentals are slower and focus more on the technical even rockier side of it all. This doesn’t last for long though as the track ends, and “Anatomy” kicks in with a fast rock beat on the drums, and the Rev welcomes us back to the pit. The pace is back up and the involuntary head bobbing comes with it. “Anatomy” is yet another fun addition to the record but does not really offer much else that the previous tracks haven’t already given us.
“Ivan” is a change of pace again, as it brings the albums tone back down a notch. The echoing vocals are a focus here, as well as the slower technical instrumentals. It is a slower, technical track, just like “Reasons,” but does it in a much better way. The words appear to bounce off the ringing guitars and echo through your ears, as the whole track has a different vibe to it compared to the rest of the album. “Ivan” appears to be slightly grungier, and definitely has a darker feel. It is yet another one of my favourites off the record, and leads into the next song nicely.
Greeted by some repeating and catchy guitar riffs, “Do You Believe” provides yet another upbeat and fun track. At this point in the album it is slightly evident that a lot of the tracks have a very similar structure and sound to them, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it shows that they have confidence in what they do in a way. It just means that by track nine I’m feeling I’ve heard everything they have to offer. “Do You Believe” still is very enjoyable, and it certainly showcases the outstanding talent of West Thebarton yet again, it just isn’t anything new for Different Beings Being Different.
“On The Hill” is no different, as it follows the same formula. However it does set up to the conclusion of the album with the final track “Set It Straight,” which is ends the album in a slower more relaxing fashion. The vocals are more melodic, and The Rev holds our hand and guides us through this track nicely. The instrumentals are less of a focus, and are much lighter compared to other songs. The chorus and the repeating riffs are a centrepiece of the track, as guitar solos and drum fills bring the track, and the album, to an end.
West Thebarton’s Different Beings Being Different is a great look at Aussie rock still being alive, as it showcases the high talent levels and potential for the Adelaide rockers, and takes pub rock and makes it great. The vocals throughout the album are sublime, and The Rev has one of the more unique voices I’ve heard in a while, and it is a treat to listen to. The instrumentals are fantastic, and are the reason the album gives off such great vibes. West Thebarton have done well here, and with some expansion on their sound and changing up the song writing process a bit they will no doubt be able to create something great.
Great raw sound. Instrumentals are terrific, enjoyable, and dance worthy. Vocals are great. Can definitely see them becoming something big.
Songs all have very similar sound and very similar structure.