Westkust

 

Wednesday 9th January 2013
westkust

The smoky industrial town of Gothenburg on the stormy coast of Sweden has made a name for itself in the European music business. This "Little London" has in recent years established itself as the pop capital of the North, an urban area sprawling of indie musicians on the rise and fall, all of them brought together by what's been dubbed "the Gothenburg sound". Except that Westkust isn't part of it, but rather outside of and in front of it, channeling the sentiment of the city in their own way.

Here the sweet pop of the Gothenburg sound has been crushed to shards in a blender together with records by shoegazing pioneers like The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. The sweet melodies are all still here, but they have been possessed by raw instinct to form a sound that reminds of years of indie history but sounds like nothing else.

Formed in early 2010, the quintet Westkust has gone through remarkable changes. From the announcement that a record deal had been made and an album was on the way, it seemed things were starting to fall apart just when they were coming together. Within months of the announcement internal friction led to the loss of one guitarist, then two, and finally the singer. On the verge of complete break up the group picked itself up, along with three new members, and since late summer 2011 the band has heavily refined it's sound and attitude, and taken on the promise of making a smashing album.

JUNK EP bodes the arrival of that album and tells you what to expect from it: lovely guitar melodies and song harmonies are pressured to the point of breaking, and the result is heartbreaking as well as antagonizing, with a distinct stroke of all the promises of summer – partying, camaraderie, sunshine and inebriation. From the air-coushion of fuzz on "Surf" and the chainsaw-like lead guitar on "Touch", to the tormented vocals in the chorus of "Care" and the balls to the wall shrieking and feedbacking of guitars on Alan Life – an ode to the loveable doofus in the show 2 1/2 Men – it's a record to be heard.

If you adore Crocodiles, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Best Coast and The Ravonettes, meet your new favorite band.

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