Wess Meets West – When The Structures Fail Us

Reviewed by: Foofer

Wess Meets West is one of the most annoying band names to say aloud. It needs to be said… figuratively, not literally.

Wess Meets West hasn’t really made any splashes in any ponds other than their local ones, but with two full albums and an EP under their belt, they’ve started to gain a following in the more obscure post-rock circles.

That being said, this is not post-rock, strictly speaking. They don’t depend on the bass for their melodies, the guitar isn’t used for textures nearly enough, and they still hav a very rock-like structure to them, even if it is a bit more linear. Still, it can’t accurately be labeled as post-rock.

Even if this is technically instrumental rock, it’s still got a ton of talent backing it up, and I still enjoy it immensely. The musicians have got to be psychic, they’re all so tight as a group. It may as well have been done on a computer, it’s all so perfectly synchronized. I’m a huge sound geek, so the quality of the recording is always something I notice. With the limited funds that small bands have, it’s extremely difficult to get a good sound from the drums to the mics with these budget/equipment restrictions. Needless to say, the audiophile in me goes absolutely nuts over this album.

As a listener, it’s an entirely different story. The debut EP/single/whatever is usually something they put together quickly to get something out there as soon as possible. So they’ve released something, and they’ve got a sliver of experience under their belt, so they make their first full album their first true effort and these first albums typically have a very similar sound if not identical to their first release.

Sophomore albums are like the pubescent stage for bands. They’ve discovered what they’re good at, and start experimenting. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This one is a bit of both; I love this album but some of my friends are less than thrilled about it, to say the least.

Yes, they sound airtight, but they’ve got a lot to learn when it comes to their song structure. Yes, they have excellent recording qualities, but your average listener doesn’t even have the right listening equipment to truly appreciate it, so it’s kind of a null point to make when arguing for this album. You could go back and forth about this album for a while, but I don’t think it’s worth the time. Just agree to disagree, and enjoy it. Or not. It’s up to you.


tags: electronic post rock rock New Haven