West Thebarton – Tops (New Music)

Domestic La La, you slay me. Your roster is shaping up to be a prolific powerhouse, cementing itself in the ever-expanding realm of Australian music.

This shit is tops.
West Thebarton knows no different than to rock your god damn flip flops and socks off.

“Tops” gives us a glimpse into a world of gloom, groove and perpetual nuance. All of this is displayed to us by a powerfully emotive song which seemingly explores the idea of unbelievable appreciation and happiness being ruined by a constant, negative internal dialogue.

West Thebarton manages to deliver a layered instrumental that communicates an enticing level of drama. Theatrical in nature, the production utilises ambient flourishes by way of different effects that accentuate key aspects within the track – this is not just a song, but a story. I often reference flourishes – a word I may use too liberally – as a point of interest in music. A droning guitar in the background or an unexpected snare hit where you thought you had a beat or two to go, these subtleties can make a flat track three-dimensional when incorporated effectively and efficiently. “Tops” has that and does it well.

Don’t get it twisted, this song isn’t all tidbits; it’s an absolute sing-a-long as well. Stripped back sections that focus on melodic guitars turn into old school rock riffs which are complemented by some intense vocal parts. I can definitely see a room of people shouting, “I feel tops!” I think it’s something to be admired when a song can provide a mental image of the performance itself.

“If looks could kill, I’d be dead on the floor right now”

The Rev uses his vocals in a way that fantastically emphasises feeling and provides an imagined vision of a frustrated, exhausted and intrinsically devastated character, purely through audio. The use of singing combined with the harsh transitions to yelling embodies the complexity that one may feel in a conflicted mindset – there is appreciation expressed for the good times, however, internal emotional upset can diminish your enjoyment exponentially.

What’s that I hear? Could it be? Crispy bass tones? It is! Throughout the whole experience, the bass is balanced exceptionally well with the melodies of the guitars and remains a solid backbone throughout. Always stop in and check on the bass.

The drums keep you on edge, often jumping up and commandeering the groove train. This is an express service running directly from tempo town to bounce central.

As a general overview of the instrumental, it’s cool. It’s a groovy piece and to know that there is a band of seven who work cohesively to shred this out live is impressive.

This song drills in the disappointment of acknowledging that Cherry Bar is no more; they would rock that stage. Then again try getting seven people on stage at Cherry Bar. With that said, while the alternative scene landmark may be gone, there are still plenty of other venues and states that this group can demolish. If you want to see a show of angst, groove and high-intensity shredding, then you may want to pick up a ticket for “The Tops Tour.”

You can catch the seven-piece collective on the May/June, Australia wide “The Tops Tour” starting May 31 at the Gov in Adelaide and ending June 22 at the Miami Shark Bar on the Gold Coast.


Alec Wilson

Alec Wilson is a writer/contributor at Depth Magazine who endeavours to depict a balanced review of composition analysis, emotional analysis and audience appeal. There is a notion of priority towards providing an even representation of aspects across multiple spectrums in the alternative scene. [Enjoyed the read? Shout Alec a feed!]

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