Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

The Western Front-Go To Your Desire; Don't Hang Around Here

May 1, 2005

the-western-frontBand: The Western Front

Album: Go To Your Desire; Don’t Hang Around Here

Best element: The complexity of the instrumental parts.

Genre: Rock, indie

Website: www.thewesternfront.org

Label: Self-Released (Pressed in good ol’ Canada)

Band E-mail: band@thewesternfront.org

I read in the liner notes of this album that The Western Front uses a Hammond Organ in two songs and I immediately got excited. Then I listened to the album- and I was blown away. The Western Front is made up of four St. Jesup, IA, teenagers who create complex and meaningful music, with frontman Drew Fischels mixing styles to create a sound that is recognizable yet very original.

The Western Front takes its influences from a number of mainstream artists that at first thought would never fit together. The first recognizable sound I heard belonged to Collective Soul, which I found at the beginning of opener “Brooks Was Here (So Was Red)”. As I moved on though the album I heard lots of chord structures and singing styles influenced by The Goo Goo Dolls and Dashboard Confessional. (Yes, I just admitted that I listen to Collective Soul, Goo Goo Dolls and Dashboard). Though I could hear all these influences I could also hear that these kids really took pains to put their own spin on the style. Though this gives them originality it also makes the album hard to follow and can really piss you off when you are looking to listen to a single style.

One of Drew Fischels’ little personal twists is to not use a traditional song structure on this album. Only two songs on the twelve-track album contain choruses. The songs also switch style intermittently, which caused me to not be able to follow what song I was listing to. For example, “Youth of Ages, An American Sailor” opens with a sad trumpet and bass duet, then goes into a fast up-beat song, then into a slow but major- dominated piano/guitar solo section, then into a minor-dominated synth part and then back into a up-beat song. Four times I had to check if the song had changed without me noticing. This kind of thing got annoying but did not come close to ruining the album for me.

Go To Your Desire; Don’t Hang Around Here is the best non-studio album I have heard in ages (the album was recorded in “one garage, one living room, one dining room and one high school band room”.) Hopefully it will be good enough to get these kids out of St. Jesup (look up where St. Jesup is and you will understand why they might want to get out.). I certainly think it will be. If it isn’t, the fifty-five minute album will certainly provide entertainment for the kids of St. Jesup.

-Scott Landis

redbassist66@comcast.net

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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