Material: We Are The West is a band for lovers of melodies, story-telling and organic music that benefits from electricity but does not depend upon it. Sometimes sounding like folk, other times mountain music and even at times a little trippy with spoken word à la the Doors or the Velvet Underground, the consensus seems to be about creating musical and poetic art without ego or pretense. Simply put, it’s good music.
Musicianship: This trio does not disappoint in any aspect of musicianship. Hool’s voice is distinct, rich, authentic and full of emotion, completely drawing in the listener’s attention from the initial word in the band’s first song, “A New Haven.”
At times Hool's voice reminds of Lou Reed, and at other times Bob Dylan, but at all times it is still completely his own. With an upright acoustic bass, Kibler creates the texture of warmth and a special tone, but knows how to make the instrument punch and rock when necessary.
Goodfellow is a true musician on the drums, complementing each song perfectly with simplicity and a pocket that puts the world at ease. The vocal harmonies take the quality of We Are the West to a level of superiority. The arrangements and timing of background vocals are well-constructed and provide a surprisingly full sound with limited instruments or technical “toys.”
Performance: Being the first set in a long night of rock & roll ahead of them, We Are The West were a welcome surprise from the initial guitar strum and sung-spoken word. Clearly veterans of making music with each other, the band’s chemistry caused the ever- growing crowd at The Prospector to take notice. In the tiny club, it was notable that most all of the other musicians waiting for their turn seemingly became full supporters quickly (if they weren’t already) of the visitors from Los Angeles. Hood’s frontman persona was engaging but sincere. Nothing seemed forced or out of sync within the set that, if anything, was too short.
Summary: We Are The West creates good music. Raw, rootsy, feel-it-in-your-bones kind of music that can even remind someone why a song can be the best way to express a feeling. With a clear focus on creating art with simplicity and organic elements, this group achieves its goal with quality musicianship and a mature perspective on the world around them. If you are a lover of a good “song,” this is a band to check out in the L.A. area.
– Tim Reid, Jr.