West
"We Feel Better Now"

(Two Dupes Records 2003)West - We Feel Better Now

Untraditionally and darkly pop, West's "We Feel Better Now" is not a single listen, disposable album. With melodic, catchy riffs, this indie rock band blends the instrumentation with the vocals. It is the bleeding of those rhythmic and repeating hooks that make things interesting on the band's second effort.

Rough around the edges, "Bloodshed" has a distorted, engaging instrumental sound that draws you in subtly. With an opening lifted from the Dead Kennedy's "Holiday In Cambodia," "Get Off" is catchy and expectantly quicker with bass coming out. Darker, the melodic "Ten Million People" draws on vocals that vary between singing and speaking. Pattering drums and understated guitar hooks lead the quiet rumbling that grows loud on "You Can't Go Home." Adding strong vocals, from Genevieve Maull, to the mix with West's singer/guitarist Claremont Taylor's low growl, "Skin" is a sultry tune that creeps up on you before the upbeat sounding "Back to LA," a rock tune with a quicker pulse. "Joseph" is mocking, building up to full choruses from solid, accusing verses.

With a long instrumental opening, "Bad Man" is quieter with melodic guitar before the rich acoustic track "Brothers Can't Swim." "Now we won't stop for gas/And we won't stop for food/The car is running on our anger/The car is running on our mood," Taylor sings on "Brothers Can't Swim." Taking a turn towards a blues feel for verses, "Rain" has snarling guitar hooks. With a quicker and foreboding feeling, it is the loud chorus on "Tilla" that pounces. Quieter, somewhat muted, "Just a Girl" is lyrically driven while Maull returns, backed by gentle slide guitar, on "Bound." Electric guitar grabs your attention on "El Dorado," a mid tempo jam. West offer a final warning with the heavy, thrashing rock of "Don't Come Around Here No More."

Sounding like a focused indie rock band that knows how to jam when they want to, it is clear West are in control. The listener is the prey as "We Feel Better Now" builds, up and down, dynamically and stalks you with a sinister sound laced with repetition.

A-

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