Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Album Review: Haunted West -Postlude

 Haunted West
** out of *****

It is tough to pin down Haunted West’s sound on their first full length album Postlude.  The brain child of Mark Grande with his friends from Wooster, Ohio (as well as other special guests) backing him up, the group seems to be of two minds.

A combo of lyrically focused dark pop tunes with jamband enriched musical changes that don’t always work together when combined in the individual songs. When the band weird's things out the most, like on the disk opener “Skinny Walker” (with guests Skerik, Mike Dillon and Sam Bass) the best results are found. Disk closer “Lodebhar” also lets its freak flag fly; these two tracks are clear disk highlights.

There is a sense of despair/lost love on the whole album but particularly tunes like “Don’t Go Towards The Light”, “I’m Sorry”, “She Haunts Me”, “Empty House” and “Waiting For The End”. Like the songs themselves Grande’s lyrics are straight ahead and vocally he is reminiscent of Lee Ranaldo without the poetry. The most interesting elements of these conventional pop tunes are the times when odd sounds appear out of nowhere; not the lyrical pain Grande is trying to convey. Straight ahead doesn't work as well for the group. 

Production and tone sounds ripe and rich as the disk progresses.  As the band continues to play with their style and strong points (particularly their experimentation) they could produce some interesting results in the future, Postlude as a whole is a shaky first step.

Not much more to say, Support the band here, grab the album here and peep some samples below:

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