WEST BOUND – Volume 1
Album opener “Never Surrender” is a hook-laden track that brings to mind Whitesnake’s glorious “1987” and “Slip of the Tongue” records and its bluesy vibe more or less permeates the entire record, which is great. Chas West sounds superb and his voice suits the song material nicely while Roy Z’s charismatic and rather unique guitar playing is quite blistering in places and really stands out. Stephen Leblanc provides some cool atmospherics and keyboards to the proceedings, but the rhythm section certainly could have been a bit more prominent and in the foreground in the overall mix, because there is some wicked shit happening in that department that comes across as a little too subtle and subdued due to the production. “On My Own” also harkens back to late 80s Whitesnake whereas “Traveler” has a Zeppelin-esque “Kashmir” feel to it due to its melodies and epic quality, and West’s vocals soars here without losing their grit, which is pretty damn awesome. The ballads Beautiful Dream and Turn to You are mundane and forgettable, but No Room for Sympathy and the 70s-inspipred Ain’t Gonna Drown both rock like a motherfucker. There is a lot of wicked stuff on this disc and these guys certainly know how to incorporate the best that 70s and 80s classic hard rock has to offer into their tunes.
Overall, the melodies and riffs are strong here, and Volume 1 is without doubt an enjoyable and memorable hard rock offering forged by a talented cast of musicians with a collective musical identity that recalls the aforementioned Whitesnake, L.A. Guns, and Lynch Mob. In other words, give it a handful of spins once it hits the streets – it is definitely worth checking out.